CHICAGO (AP) — An Indiana man with a history of gun convictions was charged Tuesday with being a felon in possession of a firearm after authorities say he opened fire at a Chicago hospital.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago said in a criminal complaint that Bernard Harvey Jr. is accused of entering the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center on Monday armed with a semi-automatic rifle that had been reported stolen in Indianapolis where he lives. The complaint said police responded to the hospital on Chicago’s West Side after receiving reports of a man firing a gun near the entrance.
They arrived and spotted Harvey walking through the hospital atrium. They arrested him without incident in the clinic area, the complaint said. No one was injured. A motive was not immediately clear.
A witness reported seeing Harvey fire a gun multiple times as he walked past the hospital, the complaint said. Police later recovered six 9 mm casings outside the hospital and one inside the hospital near the entrance, and found bullet holes in the entrance door and a nearby ceiling.
According to the complaint, the 40-year-old Harvey was convicted in 1998 in Cook County for unlawfully possessing a firearm. Two years later, he was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of drug charges. And he was sentenced to prison again after being convicted in 2005 in Cook County on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The complaint said records “reflect that Harvey was periodically transferred for inpatient psychiatric care” while in state prison in Illinois.
The gun used in the hospital incident was reported stolen last month, prosecutors say in the complaint. Joseph Fitzpatrick, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said Harvey was charged in federal court because the gun had traveled across state lines.
Harvey appeared in court on Tuesday, and a judge ordered him held without bond. He is scheduled to return to court on Friday.
Santino Coleman, an assistant federal defender who is Harvey’s court-appointed attorney, told the judge he has been trying to contact family members of Harvey and research any history of mental health issues, according to the Chicago Tribune.
If convicted of the federal gun charge, Harvey faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to a release from the U.S. attorney’s office. Harvey has not been charged in connection with firing the gun, but Fitzpatrick said the investigation is continuing.
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