An assault weapon used in a shooting outside of a Cedar Rapids bar last weekend was once banned from manufacture in the United States, but is now legal in most states, including Iowa.
The Tec-9, a 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol was included in the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004 and has not been renewed since. Cedar Rapids police confirmed Tuesday a Tec-9 was used in the shooting Sunday night that left a man with multiple gunshot wounds.
James A. Breen, 27, of 125 21st St. NE, has been charged with attempted murder and going armed with intent after the shooting outside of Rumors Bar and Grill, 400 F Ave. NW. He is accused of shooting Cory Forbes, 28, of Cedar Rapids.
Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman said the gun used in the shooting was recovered at the scene, and investigators were trying to determine its origins with help from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. As of Tuesday morning, the gun had not been reported stolen, Jerman said.
A variant of the Tec-9, which features a magazine that is longer than the pistol grip, was one of four guns used in the Columbine High School massacre in 1999.
ATF Resident Agent in Charge J.D. Underwood, based in Des Moines, said the Tec-9 is “as dangerous as any other firearm.” He said the gun fires one round with each pull of the trigger.
Underwood said the gun is not particularly rare in Iowa, but Jerman said it is somewhat uncommon in Cedar Rapids. Jerman said the Tec-9 is harder to conceal and harder to obtain than the much smaller traditional handguns.
Forbes, who was struck at least twice in the leg and lower torso, remained hospitalized Tuesday but was expected to recover, police said.
Police said Breen argued with another person in the parking lot of the bar before Forbes was shot. After the shooting, a witness reportedly tackled Breen, knocked the gun away and held Breen down until officers arrived.
“His actions were pretty courageous and heroic to put his safety and welfare in question, holding him until we arrived,” Jerman said.
Twenty-two people have now been shot in Cedar Rapids this year. Jerman last week made a public plea for more witnesses to come forward to help police solve the cases. Along with the man who tackled Breen, he said other bar patrons also helped investigators.
“A lot of patrons cooperated, and we took statements from them,” Jerman said. “I’m very pleased with that.”