Two men were arrested during a raid on a West Side home Thursday night that netted Chicago police more than 60 guns, though it remained unclear Friday exactly what the two intended to do with the cache of weapons and ammunition.
Police raided the home in the 4300 block of West Cullerton around 10 p.m. Thursday. The Sun-Times is not naming the two arrested — a stepfather and stepson — as they had not been charged as of Friday afternoon. Police said they are still weighing whether to seek charges in state or federal court.
Sniper rifles with suppressors, semi-automatic handguns, revolvers and an unknown amount of ammunition of various calibers, as well as body armor were among the items recovered, according to police.
Given the sheer number of guns recovered, it remained unclear what the stockpile of firearms was actually for, though police suspected they were for sale. It was also unknown if any of the guns were tied to any shootings in the city.
“It’s too early to tell right now if the person or persons that we arrested were actually selling the firearms but that is our belief,” said CPD Lt. Jeff Schaaff, whose 10th District tactical team executed the search.
CPD Capt. Gilberto Calderon added: “Illegally holding firearms like that, one has to think there’s more than just keeping them there for themselves.”
Though the CPD averages about one handgun recovered every hour, Calderon said that he’s never seen so much firepower seized in a single raid in his district, which covers Lawndale and Little Village.
“I’ve been in the 10th District for quite some time,” Calderon said. “To my knowledge, this is the most [guns] we’ve recovered in one location in the 10th District. As far as citywide, I’m not sure. Obviously, 60 is a lot.”
Neighbors, meanwhile, had serious doubts that the guns were being sold out of the house, which the older man — a commercial painter — bought in 2005, property records show.
“If he did have that many guns, that’s because he just kept them,” said Kevin Butler, who has lived on the same block for decades. “But as far as selling? That man ain’t sell no guns. He could’ve been a collector or he could’ve been holding them for somebody.
“That man didn’t sell no guns.”
Butler said the block was typically very quiet, describing it as “the suburbs of the neighborhood.”
Lynn Burnett, who’s also lived on the block for more than 40 years, said the older man has always been a polite, low-key neighbor who never raised any eyebrows with suspicious activity.
“That man go to work, come home, stand out here, talk with us,” Burnett said. “He was a good guy, for real.”
By Friday afternoon, the house’s address had been covered with tape.
Two signs remained in the window, though. One, which featured a picture of two revolvers read: “We don’t dial 911.” The other sign, which also featured a picture of revolver, read: “The average response time of a 911 call is 23 minutes. The response time of a .357 is 1,400 feet per second.”