Why Did PA Killer of Four Have a Prohibited Shotgun?

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Bensalem, Pa., police first encountered Cosmo DiNardo when he was about 14. In the six years since, officers in the township have made contact with DiNardo 40 times, Public Safety Director Fred Harran said yesterday, reports Philly.com. Details about past interactions with police paint a more vivid picture of the troubled 20-year-old who last week along with a cousin confessed to the gruesome killings of four young men whom he had lured to his parents’ sprawling property to sell them marijuana.

Police fielded calls about DiNardo riding his ATV around the neighborhood. They responded to reports of mental-health issues. Officers looked into whether DiNardo was a suspect in minor crimes, for which he never faced charges. DiNardo first faced criminal charges Feb. 9, when someone called police to a report a man getting into a vehicle carrying a shotgun. An officer pulled a driver over and found him to be DiNardo. He had a Savage Arms 20-gauge shotgun; under state law he was prohibited from possessing guns, because he had previously been involuntarily committed to a mental-health institution. The parents of one victim retained lawyer Robert Ross, who said he was looking to determine whether anyone recklessly or negligently allowed DiNardo and his cousin access to firearms or whether any guns were unlawfully sold to either confessed killer. “There’s a bigger issue involved here,” Ross said. “If these two accused men aren’t given access to these weapons, these crimes don’t happen.”

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