By Melissa Chan
March 29, 2016

An Ohio gun shop owner may have prevented a mass shooting by refusing to sell a rifle to a man whom he believed may have been planning to do harm, according to the local sheriff.

John Downs said he had a bad feeling about a 25-year-old customer named James Howard, who visited his store last week. “Just the look in his eye … there was something about him,” Downs told CBS News. “I don’t know. You really can’t explain it. He was going to do something. He was going to do something.” When Howard returned to the store again, Downs locked his shop and told a customer to call the police.

According to the new station, authorities found Howard had purchased another firearm by allegedly making a false statement on his background check form. The Ohio University student had a history of mental illness, police said, and allegedly assaulted an assistant hockey coach before walking into the gun store.

“When we arrived, he had almost 50 rounds of 20-gauge shot gun shell ammunition ready to purchase,” Hocking County Sheriff Lanny North told the network. “We don’t know what he may have prevented.”


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