Competency exam ordered for man who said he would be “next mass shooter”
OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - An Oshkosh man who allegedly threatened to be the “next mass shooter” is set to undergo a competency examination. When 53-year-old Whittier P. Ives was arrested, not only did he have an assault rifle in his vehicle but he was in possession of hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
“We received a call from a citizen that had just had recent contact with Mr. Ives, and Mr. Ives had made comments to him about going to the Appleton area to do some type of mass shooting,” Omro Police Chief Joe Schuster said.
Federal court documents detail the case against Ives. Ives’s former neighbor told officers that he had been storing some items for Ives in a storage unit for about 5 years. On June 4, Ives came over to get those items.
The acquaintance said he saw Ives grab a green duffle bag and shoe box. He said he knew there was a rifle in the bag and had seen magazines in the shoe box. The acquaintance said he knew Ives was a convicted felon. Ives was also prohibited from possessing a firearm after a court-ordered mental health commitment by a Winnebago County judge in April.
Ives showed the man a photo on his phone of a man he claimed was Russian and “that he was going to go kill him, along with another person and a bunch of other people,” reads the complaint. He mentioned the intended victims were at a club in Appleton. Ives also made a statement about being “the next mass shooter.”
The man called the Omro Police Department. The criminal complaint says a lieutenant found a vehicle matching the description of Ives’ truck and pulled him over in Omro. The lieutenant said Ives got out and approached the squad. The lieutenant recognized Ives as “he was known to make similar comments in the past.”
The lieutenant spoke to Ives and noticed “a strong odor of intoxicants coming from him.” Ives was cooperative. He was taken into custody for Operating While Intoxicated.
Officers searched Ives’ vehicle and found uncovered boxes of ammunition, numerous magazines, and a multicaliber, semi-automatic rifle.
“Searching the vehicle we did locate a partially assembled AR-15, approximately 600 rounds of .223 ammo, and numerous, other miscellaneous handgun ammo in the vehicle,” Schuster said.
Omro’s police chief credits the citizen for saying something. ”I think we stopped some type of major incident from happening,” Schuster told Action 2 News.
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On June 7, investigators obtained a copy of Ives’ recent order of commitment from Winnebago County Department of Human Services. The document states that Ives was “mental defective” and committed to an institution. As part of that order, Ives was prohibited from having a gun. The order stated federal law would provide penalties for possessing and transporting a gun.
Investigators also found an arrest record from California from Feb. 25, 2009, for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Ives was sentenced to two years in prison for that charge.
This past Tuesday, June 21, Ives appeared by video before District Court Judge William C. Griesbach. Ives’ attorney requested a competency examination. The court agreed that “there are reasons to doubt the defendant’s competency to proceed.” Ives’ attorney is seeking a local examination rather than one to be conducted through the Bureau of Prisons.
Ives is also undergoing a competency examination for a state case in Winnebago County where he’s charged with Disorderly Conduct and Resisting or Obstructing an Officer.
A conviction in the federal case would carry up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
He also faces state charges in Winnebago County for possession of a firearm by someone convicted of an out-of-state felony, possession of a firearm while under commitment/protective placement order, making terrorist threats, disorderly conduct and bail jumping. He’ll be in circuit court on those charges on July 26.
While Ives was arrested on the state charges early this month, the federal indictment was just handed down this week. “I do not know why they found interest in this. I’m assuming because of things that are happening in society today and the comments that he had made,” the police chief said.
Ives remains in the Winnebago County Jail.
No date has been set for a review of the competency examination.
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