The Washington State Patrol has been called in to investigate the disappearance of an M16 rifle from the Grant County Sheriff's Office.
The rifle was last logged into a secured arms room at the Grant County Courthouse but was discovered missing during a recent routine inventory of equipment. The sheriff's office immediately launched an internal investigation to try and find the rifle.
When that proved unsuccessful, the state patrol was called in to help aid in the search.
“I am enormously concerned about this missing rifle,” Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said.
“I am sorry to alarm the public that such a weapon has been lost from our control, and I reassure everyone that we will find the rifle and anybody who is found to be responsible for any malfeasance will be held accountable at the highest level,” he added.
The M16 is a fully automatic rifle that fires a .223-caliber round. Carried by patrol officers, it is similar to the ones used by the military.