Arsenal of firearms seized from North Auburn fourplex after shot fired

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The initial report was of a gunshot into a North Auburn residence but by the time the shooter was under arrest, the Placer County Sheriff’s Department had discovered much more inside, including assault weapons, a machine gun and silencers. Investigators seized the cache and took Garnet Way resident Evan Michael Prout into custody on felony possession charges involving assault weapons, dangerous weapons and a large-capacity bullet magazine. Prout reportedly told deputies the rifle accidentally fired when he was ejecting rounds while sitting on his couch at 12:20 a.m.Thursday. Besides the Saiga assault rifle Prout allegedly fired, a search of a locked gun safe inside the fourplex revealed another assault rifle – a .308 Springfield – and a Sten machine gun. Also discovered in the locker were nine more rifles, a Glock pistol, two silencers and ammunition. A 40-round clip for the machine gun triggered the felony allegation of having a large-capacity bullet magazine. Sgt. Andrew Scott said Prout stands to lose all the weapons if he’s convicted on a felony firearms infraction. The nine rifles – including a World War II-vintage German Mauser and a shotgun – are considered legal firearms but can’t be possessed by a felon by order of a judge. Prout, who is listed by the Sheriff’s Department as 25 and unemployed, was apparently not home Tuesday and couldn’t be reached for comment. He had posted $50,000 bail the same day as his arrest. He’s scheduled to be arraigned on the weapons charges April 6. Neighbors said they knew little about him and the incident, which occurred in the early morning hours of a weekday. “I feel safe here,” said nearby resident Michelle Alonso. “It’s a violent place in some areas but I pretty much feel safe.” A three-year Garnet Way resident, Alonso said she was unaware of the shot being fired or the arrest until being shown a Journal report Tuesday. Roxana Hernandez, another Garnet Way resident who lives nearby, also had not known about the incident. “I’ve lived in the same place for 20 years and there has been only one time – when they were searching for a guy who hid behind a some trees,” Hernandez said. “I feel very safe here.” Bill Prior, owner of Auburn Outdoor Sports, said that if the sheriff’s allegations are correct, Prout would be far from a typical gun owner. “What an idiot,” Prior said. “That bullet could have hit someone.” Bans on assault weapons have been in place for nearly a decade but if Prout had purchased them before the ban date, he could own them legally, Prior said. Possession of a silencer is also illegal in California but can be legally owned if a permit is issued, he said. “We sell guns to people who are law-abiding citizens,” Prior said. “All gun sales have to go through a licensed gun dealer. It’s been that way since 1991. People buying them at yard sales from little old ladies – they’re felons.”