Two weeks ago, Jonathon Russell told fellow factory workers in Jefferson City, Mo., that he had bought a semi-automatic, Glock .40-caliber pistol once owned by the Missouri Highway Patrol, the Kansas City Star reports. On Tuesday night, Russell, 25, clocked in for his shift, walked to his station on the manufacturing line, pulled out the gun and began shooting. He killed three persons and injured five before killing himself.
Russell was on probation, but was not being threatened with firing. After the plant shootings, Russell drove to the Jefferson City police station, where he got into a firefight with two officers. He then apparently turned his weapon on himself and committed suicide.
His pistol was once owned by Missouri’s state Highway Patrol — it is stamped with the state patrol’s emblem and the initials “MSHP” — and was apparently sold legally to the gun dealer who sold it to Russell. He applied for a permit June 4 and it was issued June 7, the day he bought the pistol. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that when the highway patrol upgrades its weapons, it sells the old ones back to a Kansas firm that then sells them to dealers.
The shooting came two days before Gov. Bob Holden is expected to veto a bill allowing Missourians to get permits to carry concealed handguns. He is expected to attend a rally today by gun-control supporters in St. Louis.