Theater staff at the Manhattan Minskoff Theater have access to various props and materials as part of their job, but one technician was utilizing the theater’s prop room for nefarious purposes. New York City Police responded to the situation. The suspect has since been arrested and fired from his position.
Police were initially called into the theater when other staff members became concerned with the behavior of the suspect, Ilya Vett. A security officer guarding the theater noticed what looked like a printed firearm, so he immediately contacted the authorities. When police arrived on scene, Vett was inside the production and prop room. Police immediately spotted a hard, black object that was shaped like a revolver, and they confronted Vett.
Vett admitted that he had discovered blueprints on how to print a 3-D gun online. He downloaded the plans onto a memory card and brought it to work. He also brought his own 3-D printer from his workshop at home because his own workshop was allegedly “too dusty.” When he inserted the card into the printer, it began printing the firearm. The machine was in the process of printing the weapon when police entered the room. Vett claimed he was creating the weapon for his brother who has a legal firearm license.
Police arrested Vett, and he has been charged with attempted criminal possession of a firearm. Vett lost his position with the Broadway show “The Lion King,” so he won’t have access to the theater’s prop room moving forward. The suspect was taken to jail, but he was later released on his own recognizance.
New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, issued a state police notice about a series of actions aimed at preventing the distribution of these new 3-D printed weapons. The mayor, as well as other concerned citizens, worry that such firearms could be created at home by criminals, mentally unwell citizens and even terrorists.