TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Tyler Smith, 26, with unlawful possession of a firearm after he discharged two rifles on the reality television show “Doomsday Preppers.” The defendant is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing firearms.
“If you threaten your neighbors and commit a crime on national TV, you’re likely to be caught,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
On Mar. 3, 2013 National Geographic began filming an episode of “Doomsday Preppers” featuring the defendant at his Buckley farm. The television series explores the lives of citizens across the country as they prepare for the end of the world as we know it.
National Geographic aired the episode to a national audience on Nov. 12. During the episode, the defendant is shown loading and discharging rifles, as well as creating homemade body armor. The defendant explained his survival strategy by stating, “We’re not in it to stockpile. We’re in it to take what you have and there’s nothing you can do to stop us. We are your worst nightmare, and we are coming.” The defendant also described himself as a marauder and stated, “We are those people. We’ll kick your door in and take your supplies.” Neighbors who watched the episode were frightened and called police.
Pierce County Sheriff’s detectives investigated the complaints and discovered the defendant had been convicted of theft in 2009 and therefore was not allowed to possess firearms. Detectives were able to identify the location of the defendant’s property and obtained a warrant for his arrest. The defendant was taken into custody without incident on Jan. 15. Detectives located evidence at the defendant’s residence including ammunition, receipts for ammunition and a date-stamped photo of the defendant holding a rifle in 2012.
The defendant pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $30,000. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office