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Dane County, Middleton law enforcement say “failing” gun laws factor in Paradigm shooting

MADISON (WKOW) — Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne announced two officers and two deputies were justified in their use of deadly force when shot and killed Anthony Tong after he opened fire on his coworkers at WTS Paradigm. Ozanne made the announcement during a press conference Monday afternoon.

Still, he said long before Tong had the chance to plan his shooting, two things should have prevented him from getting a gun in the first place.

“Through holes and flaws in our gun laws, Mr. Tong was able to obtain everything he needed to commit a mass killing,” Ozanne said.

The first hole, according to Ozanne, was the way South Dakota authorities responded to a mental health incident that took place in 2004.

In response, they revoked Tong’s conceal and carry permit and confiscated his firearms but Ozanne said they never added his name to the national background check system. That means his history wouldn’t come up if he tried to purchase a firearm here in Wisconsin.

“Proper reporting, however, would not have prevented this incident,” Ozanne said.

That is because the gun Tong used in the shooting he built himself, from parts he ordered. According to Ozanne, Tong was able to buy eighty percent of the gun through a legal kit and likely used legally available instructions to work out how to build the rest.

“The bullets Mr. Tong fired came out of his gun designed to work like a glock,” he said. “Yet there is absolutely no point in the process where a person buying these items needs to pass a background check.”

Sheriff Dave Mahoney continued the news conference with an emotional appeal, calling for a legislative response.

“What is important in Wisconsin, what is important across our country when we continue to allow individuals who should be forbidden from owning firearms to posses firearms?” he said.

Mahoney said he’s joining an appeal from law enforcement across the country for gun laws that address flaws like Ozanne claims led to this case.

Mahoney as well as Middleton Police Chief Chuck Foulke said they’re hoping to work with the new administration to develop statewide legislation to address this case.

“We need to use this incident,” he said. “We must use this incident.”

Mahoney said he felt encouraged by Governor Tony Ever’s inaugural address as well as Attorney General Josh Kaul’s which specifically addressed stricter gun laws.

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Michelle Alfini

Reporter, WKOW

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