Man who fired gun at Englewood park had AR-15, massive ammo supply and notes about mass shootings: police

Woodridge resident Alexander Podgorny faces five felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon after the South Side encounter, which ended early Thursday without any injuries.

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Alexander Podgorny

Alexander Podgorny

Cook County sheriff’s office

A west suburban man who allegedly fired a gun at a vacant South Side park early Thursday was also driving with four other weapons including an AR-15 rifle, more than a thousand rounds of ammunition and handwritten notes about mass shootings, according to Chicago police.

Alexander Podgorny, a 29-year-old Woodridge resident, has been charged with five felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon following the troubling encounter at Moran Park, near 57th Street and Racine Avenue in Englewood.

A gunshot detection system alerted police to a round fired there about 3:30 a.m., according to Podgorny’s arrest report. Responding officers found the man near his minivan at the scene with a loaded handgun in his pocket, police said. No one else was at the park.

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Inside the minivan, officers found a loaded shotgun, an AR-15 and two other handguns — all “readily accessible and ready to be fired” — along with more than a thousand rounds of ammo and more than 300 spent shell casings of various calibers, the report said. It said Podgorny also had been traveling with a hatchet and a pruning saw.

Officers said they also found “a large number” of notes with “incoherent rants and references to mass shooting events.” They said Podgorny ranted to them “about his brother, drug addiction and his missing dog” as he was taken into custody.

Podgorny had a valid firearm owner’s identification card but not a concealed carry license, according to police, who have filed a “clear and present danger” report with the Illinois State Police. That’s the first step in revoking a person’s FOID card to confiscate their weapons, a state process that has come under scrutiny in the wake of the Highland Park mass shooting.

The officers notified federal authorities about Podgorny’s case due to “the nature of the call, the quantity of weaponry recovered, and the disturbing content of the handwritten documents,” according to the report.

Cook County Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Podgorny jailed on $300,000 bail during a Friday hearing. He was still in custody as of Saturday, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office.

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