Man found with 5 guns and 1000 rounds of ammo after firing a shotgun into a Chicago park gets probation

CHICAGO — A suburban man who allegedly fired a shotgun into a Chicago park last summer, leading police to recover 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,” has been sentenced to 30 months probation.

Alexander Podgorny, 30, pleaded guilty Friday to all charges before Judge Thomas Byrne, according to court records. Those felony counts were reckless discharge of a firearm that endangers others, four counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and possessing a firearm on public land.

Podgorny spent the past year in jail, unable to afford the $300,000 cash bail payment that a judge set as a condition of his release on August 5, 2022.

One day earlier, Chicago police received a ShotSpotter alert of a single shot fired at Moran Park, 5727 South Racine, around 3:30 a.m. No one was in the park at the time.

But officials said that CPD officers monitoring surveillance cameras saw a man get out of a minivan, fire one shot into the park, then get back into the vehicle. The police stopped Podgorny at the scene and found a loaded handgun in his pants pocket, according to the arrest report.

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.”

Alexander Podgorny | CPD

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.”

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. Prosecutors said two more handguns were found inside a bucket on the minivan’s passenger seat.

Police also found “well over 1,000 rounds of ammunition” of various calibers inside the van, and all five guns were loaded, prosecutor Steven said during Podgorny’s bail hearing. 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.

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.

Judge Byrne ordered Podgorny to participate in a drug and alcohol treatment program and a mental health evaluation as part of his probation.

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