LAS VEGAS – A 25-year-old man was arrested on a felony terrorism charge after he was accused of panicking shoppers by donning a mask and toting a replica AK-47 assault rifle through a Las Vegas mall, police said Friday.
Police wearing tactical gear evacuated hundreds of people and used dogs to search The Boulevard Mall after witnesses reported seeing a masked man walking with a weapon about 7 p.m. Thursday through the center court of the 140-store shopping center, according to department and witness accounts.
Security video images, store employees and mall security helped identify Emile Daren Hopson despite the mask, and helped lead police to a nearby apartment where Deputy Las Vegas Police Chief Chris Jones said detectives found a mask, discarded clothing and a replica rifle.
Hopson was arrested at his apartment a little before midnight. Police said he also uses the last name Hobson.
Jones characterized him as uncooperative during booking at the Clark County jail, and said police were unable to interview him.
"We do not know what his motive or intent was," Jones said.
Hopson was being held without bail pending an initial court appearance during which he is expected to have a lawyer appointed for his defense on a charge of committing an act of terrorism.
He could face decades in state prison if convicted.
This story recasts the reference to the suspect's name to include alternate spellings offered by police of Hobson and Hopson.