Obama BB Gun: Why Did Homeless Man Joseph Stravinskas Shoot His Rifle Near Obama? [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on April 9, 2013 3:39 PM EDT

Obama Motorcade
Police raced to investigate shots fired as President Barack Obama's motorcade passed in Connecticut. The shots were from a BB gun belonging to homeless man Joseph Stravinskas. Stravinskas is arrested with $15,000 bail. (Photo: Creative Commons)
Joseph Stravinskas
Joseph Stravinskas mug shot

Obama's motorcade was alarmed by the sound of gunshots while travelling last night from the University of Hartford in to reach Bradley International Airport in Connecticut. According to Capt. Stephen Hajdsz in a statement to the New York Post, the gunshots were from a homeless man carrying a toy BB gun. President Barack Obama had given a speech on gun control at the University of Hartford .

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The homeless man was identified as 27-year-old Joseph Stravinskas. Initial reports indicated that Stravinskas was discovered in the woods near the motorcade. Detective Hajdasz immediately ordered Stravinskas to drop his weapon to the floor.

Hajdasz described the shooter:

"He was aiming it toward the woods, turned around and didn't immediately drop it."

The Hartford Courant later also reported that Joseph Stravinskas turned to face the police as authorities approached but did not immediately put down his weapon. Forced to react, authorities threw Stravinskas to the ground while he still held onto [The BB rifle] was very realistic looking, like an actual rifle," Hajdasz said.

Capt. Stephen Hajdasz explained that the BB gun, "Was very realistic looking, like an actual rifle."

While the secret service feared the gunshots from Joseph Stravinskas were threats against the President, it was later reported that Stravinskas was completely oblivious of Barack Obama's passing motorcade. In fact, Joseph Stravinskas was only setting up soda cans in the woods and shooting them down for recreational target practice.

Despite the seemingly harmless activity, Joseph Stravinskas was arrested for breach of peace, threatening, and interfering with police. Stravinskas is held on $15,000 bail and will be arraigned in Hartford's Superior Court.

Be sure to check out President Barack Obama's speech on gun control at the University of Hartford here:

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