NEW YORK (WCBS/CNN) – The New York City Police Department responded swiftly to what initially looked like an active shooter situation on Tuesday.
The weapon turned out to be an air rifle, which the man was apparently carrying for a video he was recording, but that’s not how it appeared at first.
NYPD aviation footage shows a man dressed in all black, wearing a mask and wielding what looks like an assault rifle on the roof of an apartment building in Brooklyn.
"We saw the guy. He was, like, loading a weapon," witness Melly Bello said.
Bello spotted the man just after 11 a.m. from her office window next door and called 911.
"We were asked to go under our desks, so we were, like, on lockdown mode," Bello said.
Police quickly shut down the block and surrounded the building, snipers on guard, as worried bystanders looked for cover.
"I got scared, and then I went into, ironically enough, a funeral home to hide for a moment,” said witness Juan Elias Lopera. “And then they told me, ‘You can't stay in here.’ I’m like, ‘There's an active shooter.’ He goes, ‘You can’t stay in here.’ I’m like, ‘Well, I don't want to come back dead.’"
NYPD Special Operations officers swarmed the roof, surrounding the apparent gunman, then brought him down in handcuffs and led him to the backseat of a squad car.
"I have no idea what was going through his head," Bello said.
Sources said the 26-year-old suspect has his own YouTube channel on which he frequently posts, and he was apparently trying to record a video before he was arrested.
Police recovered what turned out to be an air rifle, as well as multiple cameras, which the suspect had strapped on himself.
No one was injured, but resident Taylor Grant wants to know how the suspect was able to turn her apartment building into his personal stage.
"If he was able to get in the building, that's really scary," Grant said.
The suspect was questioned by police and charges are pending.