Chicago police find 5 guns, 1000 rounds of ammo, and ‘critiques’ of recent mass shootings after man fired shotgun into Englewood park: prosecutors

Alexander Podgorny | CPD

A suburban man who fired a shotgun into a Chicago park early Thursday had five firearms, over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and handwritten notes about “recent mass shootings as well as critiques of the police involved in those shootings,” prosecutors said Friday.

“Those are war weapons in this car,” Judge Maryam Ahmad said after hearing the allegations against Alexander Podgorny, 29, during a bail hearing on Friday afternoon. She ordered him to pay a full $300,000 cash bail to get out of jail on electronic monitoring.

Chicago police received a ShotSpotter alert of a single shot fired at Moran Park, 5727 South Racine Ave, around 3:30 a.m. Thursday, according to Podgorny’s arrest report. No one was in the park at the time.

Officers monitoring surveillance cameras saw a man get out of a minivan, fire one shot into the park, then get back into the vehicle, prosecutor Steven Haamid said.

Chicago cops stopped Podgorny at the scene and found a loaded handgun in his pants pocket, according to the arrest report.

On his minivan’s driver’s seat were a semiautomatic shotgun loaded with seven rounds and an AR-15 LRWC rifle, according to CPD inventory records and Haamid.

Two more handguns were found inside a bucket on the minivan’s passenger seat, Haamid said.

Police also found “well over 1,000 rounds of ammunition” of various calibers inside the van, Haamid said, adding that all five firearms that police recovered were loaded. The CPD report said officers also found more than 300 spent shell casings inside the vehicle.

Investigators also found handwritten notes, including a list of guns that Podgorny did not have, places he could get those weapons, and Podgorny’s thoughts about his dog and the Uvalde mass shooting, according to Haamid.

When taken into custody near the park, Podgorny “began to rant… about his brother, drug addiction, and his missing dog,” according to CPD officers.

The police report said the van contained “a large number of handwritten notes and various documents, many of which contained incoherent rants and references to mass shooting events.”

Arresting officers said they notified the FBI, ATF, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force “due to the nature of the call, the quantity of weaponry recovered, and the disturbing content of the handwritten documents.”

Podgorny had a valid Firearm Owner’s ID card but not a concealed carry license, officials said. Following the arrest, Chicago police filled out a “clear and present danger form,” according to their report.

Prosecutors charged Podgorny with five felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

Officers also found a single spent shotgun shell in front of Podgorny’s van, according to the report, but prosecutors declined to file charges for firing the weapon, according to a source.

Podgorny’s father, James, served as his defense attorney during the bail hearing. He said his son lives in Woodridge with a relative and had a job interview scheduled for next week. His son has “no prior background of any sort,” he said.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com