Two months before a 66-year-old man went on a deadly shooting spree at a condo building in Dunning, police responded to the same complex when the accused gunman allegedly assaulted the son of one of the victims of Saturday’s rampage.
The suspect, identified as Krysztof Marek, was charged Monday with five counts of first-degree murder, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. He was denied bail during his initial court hearing.
Sergio Macias, who manages the building in the 6700 block of West Irving Park, said Marek allegedly punched Jolanta Topolska’s son in the face on Aug. 3. Macias noted that police were then summoned to the building. […]
Even before the incident in August, Marek’s strange behavior had unnerved some of his neighbors.
* Sun-Times editorial…
What can we do about a man who, according to a woman who lived nearby, was “always very friendly” until about six months ago “when he snapped”? A man who allegedly punched the son of one of the victims two and a half months ago, on Aug. 3?
Until recently, very little.
But Illinois now has a new “red flag” law, enacted in 2018, that gives neighbors and others a potentially effective tool. They can report the behavior to local police, who can check with state police to see if the person has a gun card. Then, based on further investigation, the police can petition to temporarily remove firearms from the home as long as that person is a danger to himself or herself — or to others. Family members also can petition to have guns temporarily removed.
Also under the new law, people who feel they have been unfairly targeted by others — and are really of no danger to themselves or anybody — can make their case to a judge that their firearms should not be taken from them.
Such an intervention, conceivably, could have prevented the shootings on Saturday.
Unfortunately, however, most people, including many police officers, are unaware of the new law. Illinois should amp up efforts to get the word out.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul is leading a statewide effort to do just that. Other agencies — local police departments, counseling organizations and others — should help.
Agreed. Pass the word.