CHICAGO — A suburban man has been arrested and charged after police found him in an Englewood park early Thursday with five guns, a significant amount of ammunition and notes referencing mass shootings.
Woodridge resident Alexander Podgorny, 29, was charged with five counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in felony bond court Friday. Judge Maryam Ahmad set bond at $300,000, according to state’s attorney spokesperson Tandra Simonton.
Police responded to a ShotSpotter report of a shot fired around 3:30 a.m. Thursday near Moran Park, 5727 S. Racine Ave., according to the Tribune. When officers arrived, they found Podgorny near a minivan with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and other weapons. They reviewed nearby camera footage “which showed a round from what looked like a shotgun had been fired into a nearby park,” the paper reported.
Officers also found a loaded handgun in Podgorny’s pocket, the Tribune reported.
Podgorny had a valid firearm owner’s identification card, but did not have a concealed carry license and was found with five guns and a “significant” amount of ammunition, police said.
A police spokesperson said officers also found “a large number of handwritten notes” in the van, “many of which contain incoherent rants and references to mass shooting events.”
Police said that another person was inside the vehicle during the incident, but that person was not arrested.
“There was another person in the vehicle, but [Podgorny] was the person on the POD camera, and the person who appeared to be firing,” the spokesperson said.
Podgorny was not charged with shooting the handgun, but the spokesperson credited POD cameras and Strategic Decision Support Center staff who notified police about the shooter as major factors in the arrest.
“That’s why we have people monitoring those cameras 24 hours a day,” the spokesman said.
According to the Cook County Sheriff’s office, Podgorny remained in custody as of Saturday evening.
“I think of Columbine, I think of all the other mass shootings that we hear about nationwide, and this hits home,” Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th) told Fox Chicago. “To know that this could have been us, it devastates me, but then it also gives me comfort that we have men and women that are serving and protecting us.”
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