Gun that killed Chicago com­man­der traced to Wis­con­sin

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Milwaukee Wisconsin -

CHICAGO - The hand­gun used to kill a Chicago po­lice com­man­der had once been bought and sold by an un­li­censed gun dealer in Wis­con­sin who fed­eral au­thor­i­ties say de­scribed ped­dling guns “like an ad­dic­tion.”

The Chicago Tri­bune in­ves­ti­gated the var­i­ous sales of the gun — both hand-to-hand and on­line — that was used to kill Cmdr. Paul Bauer in Fe­bru­ary. The man ac­cused of be­ing the shooter, Shomari Leg­ghette, has pleaded not guilty to first-de­gree mur­der.

It’s un­clear how Leg­ghette al­legedly got the Glock 26 9mm hand­gun. But fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors traced the gun to a Wis­con­sin man, Thomas Cald­well, 68, who has pleaded guilty to a fed­eral charge of sell­ing firearms with­out a li­cense. And a man Cald­well said he sold it to last year and at whose home fed­eral agents found 40 guns pleaded not guilty to a sim­i­lar charge.

The case il­lus­trates the ease with which peo­ple can il­le­gally buy and sell guns ei­ther on­line or hand-to-hand. Chicago po­lice say that’s a big fac­tor in the hun­dreds of shoot­ing deaths each year in the city, and ex­perts say it high­lights the need for more reg­u­la­tion and scru­tiny of gun sales.

Cit­ing court doc­u­ments and state­ments made in court, the Chicago Tri­bune re­ports that Cald­well ad­mit­ted he had been buy­ing and sell­ing guns for years, even af­ter he was told by fed­eral au­thor­i­ties to stop be­cause he didn’t have a li­cense. Cald­well is await­ing sen­tenc­ing in the case.

One of those weapons was the Glock 26 9 mm hand­gun that au­thor­i­ties say Leg­ghette used to kill Bauer. Cald­well said he bought the gun be­cause of its small size in March 2015 for about $350. He said he pur­chased the gun from a man who be­longed to the same gun club he did.

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