Sheriff credits gun store owner for stopping possible Ohio University shooting

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ATHENS, Ohio – Sheriff deputies are crediting a local gun owner for stopping what could have been a mass shooting at Ohio University.

According to ABC 6, John Downs was working at his gun store when 25-year-old James Howard came in to buy a long gun.

Although he passed the background check, Downs said he was concerned about how Howard was acting and told him he couldn’t sell him the gun.

Howard was angry and left the store. When he returned an hour later, Downs called 911.

Deputies found Howard at a local Walmart buying “survival gear and an enormous amount of ammunition.” When they searched his car, they found a .22 caliber rifle.

“I believe he did prevent a mass shooting that was probably going to occur at Ohio University in Athens,” said Sheriff Lanny North.

Howard had just withdrawn from classes at OU and had recently gotten into a physical argument with a staff member.

Read more here. 

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