Convicted Felon Admits Illegally Possessing Semi-Automatic Rifle at Veterans Affairs Hospital in Chicago

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An armed man fired at the entrance of a Chicago veteran`s hospital Monday afternoon before stepping inside, where officials say he was quickly arrested before anyone was injured. YouTube Tips ⓘ

CHICAGO — A convicted felon pleaded guilty today, Tuesday, January 25, 2022 to a federal firearm violation for illegally possessing a semi-automatic rifle at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago.

Bernard Harvey, Jr., 43, of Indianapolis, Indiana, pleaded guilty to one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The charge is punishable by up to ten years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., set sentencing for May 5, 2022, at 10:30 a.m.




Harvey illegally possessed the rifle on Aug. 12, 2019, at the medical center, 820 South Damen Avenue in Chicago. Harvey had previously been convicted in the Circuit Court of Cook County of multiple felonies, including gun offenses, and was not lawfully allowed to possess the rifle.

According to the complaint, Harvey entered the Taylor Street entrance of the medical center while holding the rifle. Law enforcement officers saw Harvey in the clinic area and ordered him to drop the rifle, which he did, the complaint states. The officers then ordered Harvey to the ground and placed him under arrest.

The statement from US Attorney’s Office for Northern Illinois did not mention that that shots were fired at the front entrance of the VA Hospital before he entered the building. The glass doors were shattered but nobody was struck by bullets from the rifle, and there were no reported injuries.




The rifle was a Ruger PC Carbine Model 1915 that was reported stolen July 27, 2019. Good Samaritan Rickey Adams saw Bernard Harvey armed with the rifle before he shot at the Taylor Street entrance, and he tried to ram him with his minivan, but missed. Adams left the area when Bernard Harvey appeared to be attempting to load the rifle, and Harvey was getting ready to shoot at him.

Harvey was previously convicted in the Circuit Court of Cook County of multiple felonies, including gun offenses, and he was not lawfully allowed to possess a firearm. The rifle in Harvey’s possession at the VA medical center had been reported stolen last month from a federal firearms licensee in Indiana, the complaint states.

The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The Jesse Brown VA Police Department provided valuable assistance. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey B. Rubenstein.




Holding illegal firearm possessors accountable through federal prosecution is a centerpiece of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy. In the Northern District of Illinois, U.S. Attorney Lausch and law enforcement partners have deployed the PSN program to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, particularly firearm offenses.

Harvey has been held in the Federal Metropolitan Correctional Center since August 12, 2019.

Federal prosecutors charged a convicted felon with a history of mental health issues Tuesday in connection with a shooting at a VA hospital yesterday in Chicago. YouTube Tips ⓘ

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An armed man fired at the entrance of a Chicago veteran`s hospital Monday afternoon before stepping inside, where officials say he was quickly arrested before anyone was injured in the incident. YouTube Tips ⓘ

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