A Colorado man was arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot members of U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s staff in an incident that occurred just days before an Arizona shooting spree that left U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life.
John Troy Davis, 44, was upset over his Social Security benefits when he called the Denver office of Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, on Jan. 6 to seek a hearing on the matter, according to an affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Jonathan Grusing. Davis told staff members that “I’m a schizophrenic and I need help,” and “I’m just going to come down there and shoot you all,” the affidavit said.
Davis was “well-known” to Bennet’s office because he frequently called to complain about his benefits, according to the filing. Authorities have increased security patrols around Bennet’s Denver residence, as well as at the lawmaker’s office in the city, Grusing said.
“Michael has full confidence in the law enforcement agencies handling the case and remains focused on his job serving the people of Colorado,” Bennet spokesman Adam Bozzi said yesterday.
Concerns over the safety of members of Congress have heightened following the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson in which six people were killed and at least 18 were wounded, including Giffords, an Arizona Democrat. She remains in critical condition with a head injury.
Law enforcement officials say the accused assailant, 22- year-old Jared Lee Loughner, targeted Giffords as she met with constituents outside a grocery store and then began shooting into the crowd. Among those killed were U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63, and a 9-year-old girl, Christina Green.
House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, has asked U.S. Capitol police officers and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials to provide lawmakers with an overview of their security measures tomorrow.
Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, said he would introduce legislation to ban the use of the types of extended magazine clips that Loughner is accused of attaching to the Glock semiautomatic pistol used in the Giffords shooting.
Lautenberg proposed reviving a ban on clips that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. That ban expired in 2004 when Congress didn’t renew a ban on assault weapons.
“These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market” because “the only reason” to load that many bullets “in a handgun is to kill a lot of people very quickly,” he said in a statement.
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