After issuing an alert when several suspects were photographed carrying what appeared to be assult rifles in a Staten Island parking lot, the NYPD confirmed Friday that the weapons pictured were paintball guns.
"Interviews conducted by NYPD and FBI investigators as part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New Jersey have revealed that the registered owner of one of the vehicles indicated that he was planning to go paintball shooting with friends," Deputy Commissioner John J. Miller said in a statement.
A forensic examination of the photographs performed by NYPD firearms experts had also found that the weapons in the pictures strongly resembled replicas of firearms used in paintball games, the NYPD said.
The suspects were photographed in a Midland Beach parking lot by a retired NYPD officer Friday afternoon and were holding what appeared to be "semi-automatic rifles" and "pointing them into the windows of two cars," according to a statement released by police.
A bulletin was issued to law enforcement agencies, advising them to be on the lookout for the two vehicles.
The investigation prompted the NYPD to set up checkpoints on major thoroughfares, causing extensive traffic delays during rush hour Friday.
The investigation is continuing.