GRAND CROSSING — Ramone Palmer should not have been able to pull the trigger. He should have been in jail.
And Brian Rollins should still be alive.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Monday tagged the Sept. 12 death of Rollins as "another example of a murder that could have been prevented."
Palmer was paroled in January of this year on an aggravated unlawful use of a weapon conviction. "And a few months later he killed Brian Rollins," McCarthy said at a press conference pushing for tougher gun laws.
"For those individuals who feel that it would have been burdensome to incarcerate Ramone Palmer, talk to the family of Brian Rollins and see how they feel about it," McCarthy said.
Around 1 p.m. on Sept. 12, Palmer broke into the 34-year-old Rollins' home during an attempted robbery, police said. Rollins escaped from the home, but was gunned down in an alley by Palmer in the 100 block of West 105th Street, police said.
Last week, Palmer, 23, of the 5900 block of South Justine, was charged with first degree murder in the slaying of Rollins.
"We shouldn’t wait to punish dangerous criminals carrying illegal guns until they shoot and kill someone. We need to make it clear that we as a community do not tolerate illegal guns in our neighborhood," McCarthy said.
According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Palmer entered Stateville Correctional Center in October of 2011 on three-year sentence.
During the press conference, McCarthy displayed some of the 6,160 illegal guns police have recovered this year while touting statistics highlighting 89 fewer murders and 672 fewer shootings this year compared to last year.
This was not the first time McCarthy used a homicide to illustrate his push for gun law reform.
Earlier this year, he pointed to the murder of Kevin Jemison as an example of a murder that could have been prevented. In that example both the victim and the shooter would have been in jail.
"There's a very clear systems failure here when we can point to 100 shootings that could have been prevented," McCarthy said. "There are too many guns and not enough people going to jail once we take those guns out of people's hands."