A man allegedly headed to Fort Smith’s Central Mall with a rifle was arrested thanks to a tip for a concerned citizen.

According to court documents, a 911 caller reported that Rodney Sheffield was on his way to Central Mall “with the intent to kill people.”

After the call was made, Sheffield was arrested during a traffic stop after police said he was driving recklessly.  During the stop, the officer saw a rifle on the floor of the passenger side of Sheffield’s vehicle and after a pat down, found magazines to the rifle in Sheffield’s pockets. Sheffield was arrested for reckless driving and terroristic threatening.

The tip came from someone who described themselves as a friend of Sheffield, who said he received a text  that said “Here we go” with a picture of Sheffield holding a rifle across his body outside the mall, which prompted him to call 911.

Aric Mitchell with the Fort Smith Police Department (FSPD) expressed the importance of the tip that led to Sheffield’s arrest. “It’s just a reminder that if you see something, say something. Don’t think that it’s an inconvenience to your law enforcement agency to share information like this because it can potentially prevent a tragedy.”

According to investigators, Sheffield was upset about his Social Security disabilities claim being denied and had plans to shoot and kill an employee at his lawyer’s firm, which was located in the mall near the Social Security disabilities office. Sheffield also said he wanted to shoot the judge involved with the claim, investigators said.

While executing a search warrant on Sheffield’s phone, detectives found evidence of child sex abuse material, including four videos and 127 photos of young children being sexually abused. Charges related to those findings were added.