"You never know what he might do, he might terrorize everything. You know, you could just go shooting, and we don’t want that," said Veronica Thompson.
Police said a shopper in the food court noticed something sticking out of Weems’ bag.
The shopper approached Weems and asked him questions near the restrooms.
Police said Weems opened the bag and showed the shopper the AR-15.
According to a police report, the shopper “left the area in fear of the safety of his family and other patrons in the mall.”
"It would very much concern me, it would be very scary. Very scary," said Claudene Jones.
Police said the concerned shopper told a custodian. The custodian reported it to security. Police got involved and found Weems with his gun inside the DTLR store.
Police said when officers asked Weems why he had the AR-15, he told them it’s for his own protection. “Weems also mentioned that he decided to carry the rifle in his backpack because he did not want to cause chaos inside of the mall."
Weems is charged with carrying a weapon without a valid license.
There's a sign at Cumberland Mall that says guns are not allowed on the property.