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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

An Analysis of the Firearms Used in High-Profile Shootings, 1963 to 2001

Date: February 5, 2001

Location: Navistar International Corporation, Melrose Park, Illinois

Alleged Shooter: William D. Baker

People Killed: Five (shooter committed suicide)

People Injured: Four

Firearm(s): SKS 1954R rifle, Remington 12-gauge shotgun, Winchester .30 rifle, and a .38 revolver


The day before he was scheduled to begin a five-month prison term for his role in stealing truck engines worth more than $195,000, Baker, a former Navistar employee, forced his way at gunpoint into the Navistar plant and opened fire on his former co-workers. Police believe he did not target specific individuals as he fired 25 to 30 rounds with the revolver and SKS, killing four and wounding four others, before taking his own life with the revolver.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

The Remington shotgun and Winchester rifle were purchased legally in 1993 from Pepper Sports, a gun dealer in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Baker was issued an Illinois Firearm Owner's Identification Card (FOID) on February 19, 1993, and purchased the rifle and shotgun that December. It is unclear how the other two firearms were acquired. Baker's FOID card was renewed on May 8, 1998, two weeks before he was convicted of criminal sexual assault, a felony.


  1. Alex Rodriguez, et al., "Navistar Gunman Got Past Cracks in Gun Law," Chicago Tribune, 7 February 2001, p. 1.
  2. "Chief Vito Scavo Talks About the Events Surrounding the Navistar Shooting," The Early Show, 6 February 2001.
  3. "Former Navistar Employee Kills Four at Melrose Park Engine Plant," NPR Morning Edition, 6 February 2001.
  4. William Claiborne, "Illinois Shooter Had Gun Owner ID, Was a Felon," Washington Post, 7 February 2001, sec. A, p. 5.
  5. "Felon's Possession of Guns Illegal," Chicago Sun-Times, 6 February 2001, p. 3.


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 All contents � 2001 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.