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Friend of Dayton shooter bought firearm parts for him, federal officials say

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Friend of Dayton shooter bought firearm parts for him, federal officials say

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Friends and family gathered in Springfield, Ohio on Saturday to mourn Derrick Fudge, one of several people who died in mass shootings last weekend in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.
AP

CINCINNATI – A 24-year-old man is facing federal charges after authorities said he lied to investigators and purchased body armor and firearms parts for the shooter who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio earlier this month.

Ethan Kollie is charged with possessing firearms while being a user of a controlled substance and making false statements regarding firearms in a criminal complaint unsealed Monday.

Kollie was interviewed the same day as the shooting. Agents said he admitted that he purchased body armor and firearms parts used in the deadly mass shooting and kept those parts at his apartment so the shooter’s parents wouldn’t find them.

However, the charges Kollie faces are unrelated to the shooting and stem from Kollie’s own possession of firearms.

According to court documents, Kollie admitted to using drugs including marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms.

Under federal law, it is illegal to possess or purchase a firearm as a user of controlled substances. On a form needed to purchase at least one of his own pistols, Kollie said he was not a drug user.

“Mr. Kollie does not stand accused of participating in the planning of that shooting,” U.S. Attorney Ben Glassman said explaining Kollie didn’t knowingly help the gunman prepare for the shooting. “If any criminal wrongdoing is discovered during the course of the investigation which can be prosecuted, it will be.

Glassman said Kollie purchased the body armor, an upper receiver for the shooter’s AR-15 style weapon and a 100-round drum magazine for him – all later used in the shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District.

Glassman said Kollie held a concealed carry permit, which has been revoked. Two pistols and drugs were seized from the 24-year-old Kettering man’s apartment during a search.

Agents said Kollie admitted that he used “hard drugs” and marijuana with the shooter in 2014 and 2015. Glassman said the two men had known each other for a long time.

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Kollie told the agents the shootcame to his apartment in May to put the upper receiver on his weapon and later came by again to pick up the magazine.

Kollie has a 2013 marijuana-related conviction in Kettering Municipal Court in Montgomery County, records show.

In 2013, when he was 18, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, court records show. A drug paraphernalia charge was dismissed. He was fined $150 and his driver’s license was suspended for 180 days.

Two years later, he faced a charge related to Kettering income tax. The charge was dismissed, records show.

The mass shooting

On the morning of Aug. 4, officials said the gunman opened fire in the Oregon District of Dayton in a mass shooting that left nine dead and 14 more shot. The shooter was killed by Dayton police officers.

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The 24-year-old gunman of Bellbrook, Ohio, was shot and killed by police shortly after the shooting began. He was armed with .223-caliber “assault-style” rifle and had body armor and extra magazines, according to officials. 

Previously, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said the AR-15 style .223 caliber firearm was legally purchased by the gunman from an online retailer in Texas.

The upper receiver Kollie purchased, according to investigators, is classified as a firearm accessory or component and does not require a background check to purchase. The same applies to the 100-round drum magazine used in the shooting.

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Follow Sarah Brookbank and Cameron Knight on Twitter: @SarahBrookbank and @ckpj99

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