Alabama authorities took his gun away after a violent domestic incident. Nine months later they gave it back, and he used it to shoot and kill his wife.
An Alabama cop shot and killed his estranged wife just days after police returned his gun – nine months after he had it seized for shooting her in the arm.
Jason McIntosh, 46, from Birmingham, was handed the pistol despite being subject to a restraining order and 16 days later used it to kill 31-year-old Megan Montgomery after frog-marching her out of an oyster bar in front of her friends.
The marketing professional’s mother on Saturday slammed the decision to return the weapon, while even the shooter’s lawyer described it as ‘irrational, illogical and not prudent’.
‘So the restraining order can prohibit him from ‘contacting, phoning, texting, harassing, stalking,’ but oh by the way, you can have a gun? That’s ridiculous,’ Megan’s mother, Susann Montgomery-Clark, told NBC News.
The pair married on February 2, 2018, and separated a year later on February 23, the same day as police were called to their home after McIntosh – then a serving officer with the Hoover Police Department – shot Montgomery in the arm.
Police reports show McIntosh told officers he and Montgomery were involved in a domestic incident and were wrestling over a handgun when it fired.
He was placed on leave pending the outcome of that investigation but resigned two days later.
Investigators said they later determined Montgomery had been the ‘aggressor’ in the dispute, and she declined to press charges against McIntosh.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), which took over the case because the responding officers were McIntosh’s colleagues, confiscated the pistol and handed him a restraining order.
Yet just nine months later, they returned McIntosh’s weapon, despite Alabama law stating that no one with a restraining order for domestic abuse should have access to a firearm.
While federal law and many state statutes prohibit domestic abusers from possessing a firearm when a domestic violence protective order is in place, few states actually take the guns away or keep them away from abusers once a protective order is issued.
Alabama has such a law, but domestic abusers often end up keeping their weapons.
Experts say the reason is a combination of deference to gun rights on the part of judges and other officials, the absence of a defined procedure to remove the guns and a lack of awareness by law enforcement about just how lethal the risk can be.