Authorities on Monday morning responded to a downtown parking garage after receiving a report about a man holding a weapon that looked like an assault rifle inside a parked car.

But soon after police arrived, they realized there was no danger: The gun was a toy.

The incident began shortly before noon in a city-parish garage on the east side of St. Louis Street at Government Street.

Authorities were told there was a man sitting inside a car with a shotgun in his lap, said Lt. Jonny Dunnam, a Baton Rouge police spokesman.

Police officers and deputies with the City Constable’s Office went to the garage and began clearing out people still inside.

After a quick search, police found the vehicle in question on the second floor of the four-floor garage. No one was inside the car.

But the gun was visible, and police quickly realized the gun looked like a toy, Dunnam said. It was small with an orange tip, he said.

Police and deputies mostly left at that point, although some did wait to speak with the owner of the car. About 20 minutes later, police stopped the car as it was exiting the garage to make sure the gun was not real, Dunnam said.

The man driving the car was not arrested, Dunnam said.

“It’s probably not best to take a toy gun to any public location,” Dunnam said. “It’s best to keep toy guns at home.”

Constable Reggie Brown said he was glad someone called in the suspicious behavior even though the gun turned out to be a toy.

“It just gives us more reason to tell people to be really careful with those,” Brown said.

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