Washington state troopers say they arrested a man who carried a semi-automatic rifle aboard a ferry Wednesday night in Mukilteo.

The 39-year-old man walked onto the M/V Tokitae around 7:43 p.m., as passengers boarded for a trip to Whidbey Island. Ferry workers called authorities when they saw ammunition partially concealed on the man, said Trooper Kevin Fortino, spokesperson for the State Patrol’s homeland security unit.

The captain held the vessel at the dock, while the man entered a restroom, Fortino said. About 10 troopers responded, and found the man’s “AR-15 style weapon” was partly or fully concealed, Fortino said.

Washington State Ferries spokesperson Ian Sterling said the man avoided crew and left the boat voluntarily.

“This is the type of thing our people do train for, so we’re really proud of them for being able to spot this person and keep anything worse from happening,” he said.

The man, whom troopers believed was intoxicated, made no threats or violent gestures, and didn’t explain why he carried a rifle, Fortino said. He was escorted off the ferry, then booked into Snohomish County Jail for carrying a concealed weapon without a concealed carry permit, Fortino said.


He remained in jail as of midday Thursday, according to Snohomish County’s online booking log. The Seattle Times typically doesn’t name suspects until court charges are filed.

The boat was delayed Wednesday until shortly after 8:20 p.m., troopers reported.

No other ferry routes were affected, Sterling said.

The incident came to light Thursday when state Transportation Secretary Roger Millar described it during a public Sound Transit board meeting — following remarks by Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff about the mass shooting that killed nine workers Wednesday at a transit maintenance base in San Jose, California.

Washington firearms laws aboard a ferry are the same as on a street, where people may legally carry guns in the open, or concealed with a permit, Fortino said.