Rock Island, Ill., police put out a warning to Johnson and Iowa County sheriff’s offices that a local man who was fired from his job today called his wife from Bettendorf telling her “Goodbye” and that he was going to kill himself with firearms he took from his home — including an AK-47 rifle, variants of which are (surprisingly) legal to own. His wife told police that he really liked the Tanger Outlet Mall in Williamsburg and might be headed that way.

It was all speculation, of course. But about a dozen deputies, state troopers and police officers sat on westbound Interstate 80 for at least two hours waiting for him to come by as a measure to protect him and others. Nightside reporter Erika Binegar and I took a road trip to check it out just in case anything happened. Which it didn’t. But you never know. That’s why police, and we, were ready for anything.

He never showed up along the interstate, but I don’t know what happened to him. I’m hoping he did something a little more constructive, like cheer himself up with a mint Oreo Blizzard or took a walk.

UPDATE: Rock Island police said he was found safe in Rock Island — after driving to Wisconsin and back. Neither Williamsburg nor the Tanger Outlet Mall had occurred to him as a destination.

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