Watch CBSN Live

D.C. man orders TV, gets high powered rifle instead

Wash., D.C. police examine high powered, semi-automatic rifle delivered by UPS to a man who had actually ordered a 39 inch flat screen TV. WUSA

(CBS/WUSA/AP) WASH, D.C. - When you're expecting a 39-inch flat screen TV, you could imagine being a little taken aback when the UPS package arrives containing a military-grade semiautomatic rifle instead, dontcha think?

That's what happened to Washington man Seth Horvitz, who bought a TV via

Or so he thought.

"When I first identified it as a rifle, as a serious weapon, I was just shocked and confused," Horvitz said Thursday. "I didn't ever really imagine this kind of mix-up could happen."

Horvitz, 38, wasn't initially alarmed by the long rectangular box a UPS delivery worker had dropped off in the hallway of his apartment building Tuesday. He said he thought maybe it contained a television stand or other accessories and that the actual monitor would be delivered later.

But when he opened the box, he found a fully assembled rifle in a plastic bag, surrounded by foam.

The UPS label had Horvitz's name and address on it, but the invoice inside the box was made out to the Independence Gun Shop in Duncansville, Pa., CBS affiliate WUSA reported. Horvitz says he knew that simply having this kind of firearm was illegal in the District.

He also knew it's illegal to drive with one in your car, even if you're driving to a police station. He called police and they came to his apartment.

"They said it was a peculiar situation, not something they encounter evey day," said Horvitz.

D.C. police confiscated the weapon and they say they're still investigating how it ended up at Horvitz's apartment. It turned out to be a Sig Sauer SIG716, a high caliber, semi-automatic rifle that sells for over $2,000, according to WUSA. Seth Horvitz got it for free, but he doesn't want it. He just wanted his new, flat screen TV.

He contacted Amazon, UPS, the seller and his credit card company. He said that, at first, "No one claimed any responsibility."

Now, however, the seller of the television has given Horvitz a refund.

"I got my money back and I'm happy to be absolved of the situation at this point," he said.

But that's not his only concern.

"I would like to know how this type of mix-up could take place, especially with these mass shootings that have been going on," Horvitz wondered. "I don't want to be in a situation where this type of weapon can just show up on someone's doorstep accidentally," he said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.