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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

* Last week

A 39-year-old man found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2004 fatal shooting of a Capitol security guard soon will be released from a locked state psychiatric hospital and transferred for at least five years to an outpatient, residential treatment center in Chicago, a Sangamon County judge ruled Tuesday.

The decision from Associate Judge Jack Davis II came after a 3½-hour hearing and over the objection of State’s Attorney Dan Wright, who said he wasn’t convinced of Derek Potts’ remorse and remained concerned Potts could hurt others again.

Davis acknowledged what he called the tragic loss of William “Bill” Wozniak to the rural Petersburg man’s widow, several other relatives and Capitol-based police, all seated in the courtroom audience. Davis said Wozniak was a “five-star family man” and a “dedicated public servant.”

* Flashback to 2004

An unarmed guard was shot and killed Monday in an entrance to the state Capitol by a man who police said may have also been involved in a shooting in a local gun shop.

The attack on 51-year-old William Wozniak prompted calls from Gov. Rod Blagojevich and others to tighten security at public facilities such as the Capitol, which has no metal detectors, armed guards or security cameras at its doors.

Wozniak, who was married and the father of two teens, was hit in the chest at point-blank range with a shotgun or rifle blast at 1:38 p.m. as he staffed a sign-in desk just inside the doors to the Capitol’s north entrance, police said.

Late Monday, Springfield police issued an arrest warrant for Derek W. Potts, 24, of Olney, on charges of murder, burglary and aggravated discharge of a weapon.

* Also from 2004

Law enforcement suspects the shooter may have attempted to steal a 12-gauge shotgun from Birds ‘N Brooks Army Navy Surplus on South 6th Street, one hour before the Statehouse killing.

The store owner identified Monday’s robber as the same man who stole a 12-gauge shotgun last week, Burton reported.

* WCIA today

The holidays are the season of giving and some of those gifts are firearms. People hoping to get one this year may finder it harder to find the gift they are looking for as area gun retailers have closed up shop this year.

“Birds ‘N Brooks has been in business since 1973. They’ve been in this store’s building since 1985,” said employee Phil Davis. […]

After more than 46 years, the store had to put away one of it’s biggest sellers.” A law signed by Governor Pritzker just a few days after he took office requires dealers to pay for security upgrades including surveillance and an electronic database.

“It would’ve cost us anywhere between 18,000 and 38,000 dollars,” said Davis. […]

The store liquidated their gun collection of more than 400 firearms in July. Though they things may seem bleak, they are hoping a countermove by gun advocates can turn things around.

“The one truth about legislation in Illinois: if it’s a gun law and it goes on the book, it’s never coming off,” Davis said. “Our only hope is to win a lawsuit with the Illinois State Rifle Association that we are apart of. [If it] prevails and rules this law unconstitutional.”

Does nobody know how to use the Google at WCIA?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    ===Does nobody know how to use the Google at WCIA?===

    WCIA merged with Tribune Media in 2018.

    So probably not.


  2. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    I would bet the NRA has enough money socked away it could pay for beefed up security at gun shops. I know I’d be less likely to call them a terrorist organization if they gave back like that.

    FTR, I’m old enough to remember when the NRA talked about firearm safety more than they ranted about the government coming for our guns.


  3. - @misterjayem - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    I’ll let you upgrade my security system when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    – MrJM


  4. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    This halfway house is around the corner from me.

    I was in the State House the day of the shooting. I remember thinking a scaffolding has fallen. I went to go see if anyone was hurt and a co-worker came running in and ordered the doors locked. I’m not sure how I feel knowing that I’m bound to run into this guy at some point.


  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2004-09-21-0409210346-story.html

    Hours before the shooting of Wozniak, a man matching the gunman’s description had attempted to rob Birds N Brooks, a gun and military surplus shop a few miles to the south.

    Police said the owner of the gun store recognized the suspect as a man who had stolen a shotgun from Birds N Brooks on Sept. 14. Dale Patterson told police the man walked into his store Monday with what appeared to be the stolen weapon and demanded an assault rifle.

    The man fired off a round, possibly into the ceiling, authorities said.

    Patterson ran into his office, locked the door and grabbed a gun of his own, police said. Patterson began shooting through the door, accidentally striking his 37-year-old son in the shoulder. His condition was not immediately known, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening, authorities said.


  6. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 2:17 pm:

    “This halfway house is around the corner from me”

    The Judge is a non elected associate twice appointed by his peers under Supreme Court Rule 39. Like the retention vote, rule 39 judges are basically a slam dunk to be reappointed.


  7. - Rich Hill - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    Merry Christmas! Ignore Commandment #6!


  8. - A State Employee Guy - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    I’m confused on who you want to do better here? The judge or WCIA?


  9. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    Marcia M. Meis, director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced today that 386 out of 391 Illinois associate judges who filed requests for reappointment to their office for a new four-year term have been retained.

    98.7% reappointment rate

    https://www.isba.org/barnews/2019/06/directorofaoicannouncesresultsofass


  10. - XonXoff - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 2:59 pm:

    An confirmed insane murderer is being released into our general population. That’s insanity itself.


  11. - Norseman - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 3:05 pm:

    Sadly, the reporter’s laziness prevented the consumer from learning an important reason as to why additional safeguards are necessary.


  12. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    Pretty sure they could’ve paid for the security system with the proceeds of the 400 guns they sold, but whatever enjoy retirement.


  13. - DIstant watcher - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 3:11 pm:

    That was 15 years ago? Jiminy cricket, but I’m old.


  14. - Nick Name - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 3:14 pm:

    Great reporting, WCIA. Not. My son’s day care back then was near the capitol and they had to go on lockdown that day.


  15. - Token Conservative - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    ==WCIA merged with Tribune Media in 2018.

    So probably not.==

    WCIA’S parent company bought Tribune Media which doesn’t actually own the Chicago Tribune. But, thanks for playing.


  16. - Nick Name - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    ===The holidays are the season of giving and some of those gifts are firearms.===

    Nothing says “Peace on earth, good will toward all” like a neatly wrapped killing machine under the tree. What the heck is wrong with you, WCIA.


  17. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    “Nothing says “Peace on earth, good will toward all” like a neatly wrapped killing machine under the tree”

    keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.


  18. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    === which doesn’t actually own the Chicago Tribune===

    Did I mention the Tribune? I could have sworn I wrote ‘Tribune Media’.

    This isn’t a game. Don’t put words in peoples mouth. Especially when anyone can scroll to the top and see exactly what I wrote - including you.


  19. - Bolshevik Bruce - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    So many local teevee reporters just throw stories together so carelessly these days. No depth. No research. Disheartening.


  20. - NoGifts - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 4:02 pm:

    I reserve all judgement on this decision. Only the people involved understand the extent, existence, or current state of this individual’s mental illness. The state’s attorney isn’t a psychiatrist either.


  21. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 4:04 pm:

    What, did I do something to get banned and no one told me about it? Not one of my comments have shown up today. Rich? Hello? Is this thing on?


  22. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 4:08 pm:

    Lester-

    Some of my comments never show up, but do hours later. Some never show up. I never concern myself with the why, because it’s not my site.

    Rich can run his site however he wants.


  23. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    Hey there it is - yay. Because WCIA doesn’t have a general comment section on their website, I’ve sent an angry email over this to their investigative team email address. Hopefully someone there will realize how offensive this is (at least to me, Bill was a good man and a friend from the days when I worked at the Capitol) and issue an apology. Or at least a clarification.


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