Apartment Evacuated After National Guardsman Wields AR-15, Leaves Incendiary Device
MELBOURNE, Florida -- At 9:22 pm on Wednesday, the Melbourne Police Department responded to 2260 Woodwind Trail for a threat involving a hand grenade.
Police say that 24-year-old William Ruben Soto Figueroa entered an apartment without permission of the residents and placed a live military issue incendiary/smoke signaling device on the floor in the midst of four women. The women panicked and fled the room thinking the device was a hand grenade.
Figueroa allegedly returned and retrieved the device which he brought back to his apartment. A few minutes later, Figueroa allegedly returned and entered the apartment holding an AR-15 military style rifle which caused the victims to further panic and call 9-1-1. Figueroa then left the apartment again.
Upon the arrival of police, a perimeter was established and the apartment building was evacuated. Figueroa was located in the apartment complex and taken into custody without incident. Police say that the incendiary/smoke signaling device was located in Figueroa’s apartment with the AR-15 rifle.
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad then responded and collected the device.
Figueroa is an active member of the Florida Army National Guard, 715th Military Police Company, and is assigned to the National Guard Armory on Stewart Road in Melbourne, Florida.
Figueroa was charged with Armed Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling, Aggravated Assault with a Firearm, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Armed Burglary of a Structure with an Exploding/Dangerous Weapon, and Planting of a Hoax Bomb.
The Melbourne Police Department is currently investigating this incident and more
information may be available at a later time.
If you have any information, police ask that you please call Crimeline:
The Melbourne Police Department’s Crime Tip Line: