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Man who brought gun, knives into Beaver County movie theater cops plea

Natasha Lindstrom
| Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, 7:09 p.m.

A Georgia man has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a gun and ammunition prior to a showing of “The Purge” inside a Beaver County movie theater last summer, U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song announced Wednesday.

William D. Gossett, 22, of Covington, Ga., faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 or both for violating federal firearms law.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer scheduled a sentencing hearing for Dec. 14.

On July 23, 2016, Gossett drew attention while wandering around the Cinemark movie complex in Center Township for about two hours.

He carried a large backpack and wore long-sleeved Army fatigues, police said. The temperature outside was 94 degrees.

When Center police approached Gossett, he raced into a restroom.

An officer made contact with Gossett and obtained consent to search his backpack. Among items found inside: a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun, a box of ammunition, four knives, a painter's mask, multiple handkerchiefs, two first-aid kits, paracord rope, gloves, black spray paint and small packs of food.

Gossett also had a ticket for a showing of “The Purge” that was scheduled to start in about 20 minutes.

Initially, Gossett falsely identified himself as “William Glanton.” He told police he received the gun from his uncle weeks ago and had found the box of ammo “on the road.”

Officials determined the handgun had been reported stolen from Columbiana, Ohio.

Gossett had a prior felony conviction for identity theft that barred him from possessing firearms.

Gossett's father, Kyle Gossett, told the Associated Press last year that his son — who goes by his middle name, Dakotah — has Asperger's syndrome and is very intelligent but doesn't always make the best decisions.

William Gossett was arrested in 2015 for having a fake ID and someone else's credit card information, the AP reported. He served several months in jail and was serving 10 years' probation in Georgia prior to the Beaver County incident.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8514, nlindstrom@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

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