ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Clay County deputies say the AMC Movie Theater in Orange Park was packed on Christmas Day. They say often kids will try sneaking in through doors out front where folks exit after watching a movie inside.
But an off-duty officer on patrol there had his eyes on that busy door and noticed when a 17-year-old tried sneaking in.
"They've kind of got an eagle eye when it comes to that sort of thing and in this case we are certainly glad that he did," said Mary Justino with the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
Right now police have no idea what Cahari Anderson's intentions were as he tried getting inside with a loaded gun in his waistband.
"The deputy basically told him that he needed to leave, needed to go buy a ticket if he wanted to go see a movie, that kind of conversation, but it really declined from that point. As you can see in the report he then became combative both verbally and physically, would not leave," Justino said.
That's when deputy C.B. Ruby took him into custody and discovered the 9-mm handgun.
Justino says for years off-duty officers have been stationed here to patrol, long before police say James Holmes snuck armed into a Colorado movie theater dressed as The Joker, killing a dozen and wounding 58 more.
"Our deputies are more aware that there is the possibility of a copycat-type situation, so yes they are always diligent and always looking out and they're always there but when it has happened more recently I think we are all paying more attention," Justino said.
And while the Sheriff's Office doesn't know if Anderson had similar plans, what they do know is Deputy Ruby's swift action means they'll never have to find out.
"We just wanted the community to know that this had happened. We don't want them to really just from an awareness standpoint we don't want them to be afraid to go to the theater or go to the mall we so want them to know these deputies are there and they're doing a good job."
At the time of his arrest, Anderson was wanted in Duval County. He was also reported as a missing person.
Right now police are working to figure out where Anderson got the gun.
Deputy Ruby, 34, has nine and a half years on the force. He joined the Clay County Sheriff's Office right out of college.