Pittsburgh Cop Killer Feared 'Obama Gun Ban'

Troubled youth 'never had bad intentions,' friend says

By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 4, 2009 4:59 PM CDT

(Newser) – The 22-year-old man who murdered three police officers in an early morning shootout today was a fun-loving youth who feared the government would take away his gun rights, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. “He was a good kid,” said Edward Perkovic, a lifelong friend of Richard Poplawski, who’s now in police custody. “He never had bad intentions. He never spoke about harming anybody.”

Poplawksi, who’s estranged from his father and lives with his mother and grandmother, had been expelled from high school and was dishonorably discharged from the Marines. Police haven’t established a motive, but Poplawski feared “the Obama gun ban that's on the way” and “didn't like our rights being infringed upon,” Perkovic told the AP.

The mother and grandmother of Richard Poplawski leave their home in the Stanton Heights area of Pittsburgh.
The mother and grandmother of Richard Poplawski leave their home in the Stanton Heights area of Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/John Heller)
A Pittsburgh police officer is taken away on a stretcher from the scene of a standoff in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa.
A Pittsburgh police officer is taken away on a stretcher from the scene of a standoff in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pa.   (AP Photo/Tribune-Review, Jasmine Goldband)
Relatives gather near the house of a gunman who shot and killed three police officers in his home on Fairfield Street in the Stanton Heights section of Pittsburgh.
Relatives gather near the house of a gunman who shot and killed three police officers in his home on Fairfield Street in the Stanton Heights section of Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/John Heller)
A police sniper waits at the ready on a roof directly across the street as tactical officers stand atop an armored vehicle in the shooter's front yard in Pittsburgh.
A police sniper waits at the ready on a roof directly across the street as tactical officers stand atop an armored vehicle in the shooter's front yard in Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/Tribune-Review, JC Schisler)
The mother, left, and grandmother of Richard Poplawski leave their home in the Stanton Heights area of Pittsburgh where Richard Poplawski shot and killed three police officers.
The mother, left, and grandmother of Richard Poplawski leave their home in the Stanton Heights area of Pittsburgh where Richard Poplawski shot and killed three police officers.   (AP Photo/John Heller)
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