* 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?