A potentially disastrous situation was quickly diffused Thursday morning when deputies received a call about 11:30 a.m. regarding a suspicious white van with two male occupants parked in the lot at Canyon Country Park.
Sgt. Darren Harris said that a deputy in the area was able to respond to the location and approach the van undetected. As the deputy walked around the side of the van, he observed the male in the driver’s seat unloading a handgun.
The deputy immediately detained him and searched the van, where he recovered three guns: a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, a loaded .25 caliber automatic handgun and an unloaded .22 caliber revolver.
Deputies took Eugene Miller, 61, into custody and booked him at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station on suspicion of two felonies: possession of a loaded weapon in a public place and possession of a weapon with an altered serial number.
Harris said that Miller’s passenger, allegedly his traveling companion, was not arrested. He said the two claimed to be living in the van and Miller offered several conflicting stories about ownership of the guns.
“Thanks to an alert Santa Clarita resident calling, and a deputy being right there in the area, we were able to avert a potentially disastrous situation,” Harris said.