The questioning of a suspicious man who was found in a Bloomington parking garage with two handguns and a shotgun has ignited a firestorm in the wake of recent mass shootings.
Police were called to the garage across from Kilroy's Sports Bar on Saturday night on a report of a suspicious man on the third level.
The 56-year-old Indianapolis man was found to have a loaded semi-automatic handgun in each pocket, a loaded shotgun in the trunk of his car and a digital rangefinder, police said.
He told police that it was 66 yards from his position to the front door of Kilroy's and that he had been watching people come and go all evening.
The man also asked officers several questions about missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer, who was at the sports bar the night she disappeared, and claimed he had met her two years ago at a shooting range, police said.
"He made some odd statements that were of concern to the officers, even making reference to the ongoing investigation of the Lauren Spierer case," said Bloomington police Capt. Joe Qualters. "At that time, he was brought to the Bloomington Police Department and was interviewed."
Detectives focusing on the Spierer investigation questioned the man, but they said he had no additional knowledge of the 20-year-old's disappearance.
Police say they found more than 40 guns in the man's Indianapolis home.
The man was taken to Bloomington Hospital for a mental health evaluation and was placed on a 24-hour emergency hold, police said.
After the man told police that he had several other guns at his home in Indianapolis, detectives searched the house and found 48 more weapons, including handguns, rifles and shotguns, police said.
The man was not arrested and had a permit to carry a handgun. Police said the man cooperated with officers.
Some have questioned why the man was detained if he was not creating a problem and was legally allowed to carry the guns.
But others, including the editorial staff at the newspaper, praised police for their handling of the situation.
"Would it have been better for police to leave him alone as he looked down on the front door of a popular bar with a rangefinder and guns? After other recent high-profile mass shootings? Youve got to be kidding," the paper said in an editorial. "Perhaps this guy had no ill intent, but his actions were suspicious enough for police to get involved. They may have saved some lives."
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