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Man stopped on Chicago’s South Side with AR-15, massive ammo supply and notes about mass shootings: police

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 the Englewood neighborhood, authorities said.

A gunshot detection system alerted police to a round fired there about 3:30 am, 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.

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. Podgorny had also allegedly 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.” Podgorny allegedly ranted to the officers “about his brother, drug addiction and his missing dog” as he was taken into custody, police said.

Podgorny had a valid firearm owner’s identification card, but not a concealed carry license, according to police, who then 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.

Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Podgorny jailed on $300,000 bail during a Friday hearing in the case, which was first reported by CWB Chicago. Podgorny’s defense attorney couldn’t be reached for comment.

Podgorny would have to post $30,000 to be released ahead of trial. He was still in custody as of Saturday afternoon, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office.

If he does put together the cash for release, Ahmad ordered him to submit to electronic monitoring, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Podgorny’s next court date is Aug. 12.

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