GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The father of the man who killed Kalamazoo officer Eric Zapata in April 2011 now faces federal charges of helping felons - his sons - possess firearms.
Kim Robert Statler, 53, was indicted by a federal grand jury for "aiding and abetting felons in possession of firearms and otherwise disposing of thirteen firearms to convicted felons," the US Attorneys office said in a release.
Authorities say a Norinco SKS was used by Danny Statler to kill Zapata on April 18, 2011 in the Edison neighborhood. Moments before, Statler used a Smith & Wesson revolver to fire at the officer, then used the assault weapon.
Statler then turned the weapon on himself.
Statler's brother, Kim Robert Statler II, was staying at his father's house while the father was in Florida. Inside that house, prosecutors say, there was "a number of unsecured firearms and a variety of ammunition."
Statler II pleaded guilty months later for being a felon in possession of a firearm - and the firearms were owned by the elder Statler.
After the shooting, authorities searched the nearby home of Danny Statler and "(11) unsecured rifles and shotguns, and a variety of ammunition, were found inside the residence. Two other firearms,including an SKS assault rifle used by Leonard Daniel Statler to shoot Officer Zapata and himself, were found outside the residence," the US Attorneys office maintains.
The federal prosecutors assert the elder Statler left unsecured weapons available where his sons could easily get them.
If convicted the elder Statler faces up to 10 years in prison on each charge.