A report of a suicidal man led to the discovery of 50 guns, eight inert grenades, pipe bomb materials, swords and more than two thousand rounds of ammunition inside a Philadelphia home Wednesday, according to police.
Police first received a report of a suicidal man inside a home on the 9700 block of Northeast Avenue shortly before 4:30 p.m. When officers arrived they were met by family members of the 72-year-old homeowner. They told police the man was suicidal and had several loaded weapons inside the house, investigators said.
After gaining the family’s permission, police entered the home and found at least 50 guns throughout the property, including handguns, rifles, shotguns and assault rifles, according to investigators.
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“We found guns, or at least a gun, in every single room in the house,” Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. “Some are hidden under furniture. Some are in drawers. Some are in cabinets. Many of them are in closets. Many were in the basement. This was really unusual.”
The man, who police believe left a suicide note, was safely removed from the home and taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation. No one was injured during the incident.
In addition to the guns, police said they also found more than two thousand rounds of ammunition, materials to make pipe bombs, swords, a jar of liquid mercury and eight grenades. The Bomb Squad responded to the scene and determined the grenades were inert due to their internal mechanisms being removed, according to police.
“One of them appeared to be a smoke grenade,” Small said. “The other seven appeared to be hand grenades that had the mechanisms removed and hollowed out.”
Police spent hours searching through the house and removing weapons. After speaking with family members and further investigation, officials determined the man collects World War II memorabilia and has been involved in selling gun accessories at gun shows.
"It's not illegal to possess that many firearms," Philadelphia Police Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum said. "There's no restriction. You can own hundreds of firearms, the way the laws are now here in Pennsylvania. He doesn't use them against anybody he's just an avid collector, slash at one point he might've been in the gun show trade."
Small told NBC10 the weapons will be transported to the Firearms Identification Unit where they’ll be held for storage.
“They’re getting the serial number of every single gun and will run them through their computer and place them on a property receipt,” he said.
Police said the man could petition to get his weapons back once he's fully evaluated and released from the hospital.
SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: If you are in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting 'Home' to 741741.