“The gun that a 20-year-old New Jersey man used to shoot up the Garden State Plaza [not shown] and ultimately turned on himself had previously been confiscated by police and was only recently returned to the shooter’s brother by order of a judge,” toledoblade.com reports. “Police previously took possession of the rifle — modified to look like an AK-47 and registered to Richard Shoop’s brother, Kevin Shoop — after what Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said ‘may have been a domestic violence incident.’ In fact . . .
Recently — perhaps within the last few weeks, Molinelli said — a judge granted a request to return the gun to its owner. A friend of the Shoops said the gun was returned last week.
What’s the bet that the antis are bummed that the “mass shooting threat” didn’t go down during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month? Oh, and the DA says Shoop wasn’t crazy.
Asked if Shoop was paranoid, mentally ill, or whether police had been, in fact, monitoring Shoop, Mollinelli said: “It could be all of the above.”
He added: “He might have had a mental illness — we’ll continue to look at that. But as of right now, nothing has been brought to our attention to indicate a mental illness.”
Other than the fact that he killed himself after firing off rounds in a mall. Anyway, northjersey.com reports . . .
Cody J. Donovan, 22, was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon after a Bergen County detective arrested him at the mall around 11 p.m. Monday, as SWAT teams searched for a man who fired random shots from a rifle shortly before the mall was due to close at 9:30 p.m.
Donovan [mug shot above] is a former Marine police officer and a member of the New Milford Ambulance Corps, said his attorney, James Patuto. He said his client, who had been licensed to carry a weapon while he was in the Marines, went to the mall with other emergency medical technicians to offer assistance.
Donovan told police on Monday that he had a .45-caliber handgun tucked in his waistband, and that he did not have a permit to carry a firearm in New Jersey, a Bergen County Police detective, Ronald Salzano, wrote in an incident report.
Salzano wrote that he was outside the mall when he began following Donovan because he was wearing a dark leather jacket, similar attire to a description being circulated of the clothing worn by the mall gunman. Donovan told police that he is a “returning veteran” who was honorably discharged from the military in July and “just wanted to help authorities apprehend the suspect,” Salzano wrote.
Patuto said that before the arrest, a police officer asked his client to help with traffic control, and Donovan began directing cars out of the mall’s parking lot.
Donovan was released from Bergen County Jail in Hackensack on Tuesday after posting $25,000 bail, according to jail records.
As Clare Boothe Luce famously opined, no good deed goes unpunished. [h/t CL]