GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The federal government wants to keep weapons seized on the night a Kalamazoo DPS officer was shot and killed from ever getting back on the streets.
Federal authorities filed documents Wednesday that detail a large arsenal of weapons that were seized from Leonard 'Danny' Statler father's home on April 18, 2011.
Authorities say a Norinco SKS that was used in the shooting of Kalamazoo Officer Eric Zapata. The weapon is often confused with the AK 47.
On April 18, 2011 in Kalamazoo's Edison neighborhood, Leonard 'Danny' Statler shot Zapata and then shot and killed himself. Statler shot at Zapata with another gun, a Smith and Wesson Revolver. Police say he fired that weapon before using the high powered weapon.
After the shooting, Kalamazoo DPS officers went to the home where Statler's brother lived, which was just a few houses down from his. Court documents show they confiscated a dozen guns the night of the shooting; most of them from the brother's home were owned by Statler's father.
Statler's father denied owning the gun that killed Zapata. He's now filed a claim along with Statler's brother to get the weapons back. However, federal agents are trying to stop that.
Federal officials say Statler's father admits knowing that his sons were convicted felons and that they had access to guns that they weren't supposed to have because of that status. Authorities also say Statler's father also admits the guns and ammunition were not locked up and were easily accessible to the brothers
Federal officials state those reasons are grounds for why the weapons should be forfeited. Statler's brother has plead guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. A judge has yet to make a ruling on the permanent forfeiture of the weapons.
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