Fake gun sparks close call at Fort Bend Co. Fair

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – The Fort Bend County Sheriff deputies are warning people of all ages about playing with toy guns, after one almost forced a deputy to become part of an officer-involved shooting.

Sheriff Troy Nehls says his deputy was at the Fort Bend County Fair the other night, when he spotted a gun hanging out of one man’s pocket.  Since guns are not permitted on fairgrounds, the deputy went over to the man to tell him he couldn’t have it.

When the deputy approached the man, Nehls says the man started pulling out the gun.  It turns out the gun was a toy the man bought from a vendor at the fair and the man was just trying to tell the deputy it was fake.

Since it was dark out and the gun was partially obscured in the man’s pocket, it was not easy to see whether it was fake or not. 

“God forbid that deputy would have pulled out his weapon and then shot and killed that man, then after the fact we find out the weapon was a replica,” Nehls said.

Nehls says in 2015 there were 990 officer-involved shootings across the country.  

Thirty-three of those shootings involved toy or replica guns.  

“It’s very dangerous not only for the young person carrying the weapon, but also for law enforcement,” Nehls said.

He says the vendor who was selling the toy guns sold out, but they won’t be ordering any more to sell at the fair.