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Mt. Oliver man faces trial in gorilla suit shooting plot

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By Margaret Harding
Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

A man accused of planning to put on a gorilla suit and shoot drunken Downtown revelers on St. Patrick's Day will stand trial on attempted homicide and other charges, a judge decided Wednesday.

Allegheny County Police in April charged Sean Notman, 28, of Mt. Oliver with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and risking a catastrophe for the threats and plans police said they found on his laptop computer and in a notebook. Notman's goal was to kill 15 people and wound more, specifically women and police officers, the affidavit said.

At a preliminary hearing before District Judge Richard King in Mt. Oliver, county police Detective Robert Opferman testified that Notman told him the plan was “bravado” on his part and laughed about the gorilla suit, saying, “Get it? Gorilla suit, guerrilla warfare.”

His attorney, Brent McCune said Notman took no actual steps to commit crimes.

“We have some disturbing drawings, statements and mentality being babbled about,” McCune said. “There's no physical action. There's no substantial step.”

Deputy District Attorney Janet Necessary said the writing and a hand-drawn diagram labeled a garbage can bomb are “more than fantasies.”

“He had the means to carry out that plan,” Necessary said. “He had everything he needed. All that he needed was for the day to arrive.”

Notman spent St. Patrick's Day in the Allegheny County Jail. His roommate, Gene Marnell, told police that he awoke early Feb. 26 in their Carl Street apartment and heard Notman say, “I could blow them away, and they would never know.” Then Notman began firing shots with an AK-47 before Marnell disarmed him.

Notman fled but later turned himself in to Mt. Oliver police. Opferman testified that when he asked Notman why he bought the AK-47, he replied, “For the zombie apocalypse, of course.”

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

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