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Furrow's Guns Left Unchecked

The probation officer assigned to Buford O. Furrow Jr., the 37-year-old white supremacist accused of murdering a postal worker and wounding five people at a Jewish community center, never checked to see if Furrow complied with a Washington judge’s order to give up his guns, according to a newspaper report Saturday.

The Los Angeles Times also reported the officer did not make recommended visits to Furrow’s home. A corrections official told CBS News, "we just hadn't gotten around to it yet."

The judge’s ruling reportedly came months before Furrow’s alleged attacks.

Washington state corrections officials say they'll review the handling of the probation of Furrow, who this week was charged with murder and attempted murder for the attacks that apparently were fueled by hate.

“It was an option of the department, not a mandate,” said corrections spokesman Veltry Johnson, who conceded “one could certainly draw the inference” that more could have been done to monitor Furrow.

Furrow was barred from owning guns in Washington because of his criminal record, which included a second-degree assault charge for attacking a nurse at a psychiatric hospital after changing his mind about admitting himself. But even though he was prohibited from having the guns, he was known for having them readily available.

For years, Furrow sold guns to The Loaner Too pawn shop in Everett, Wash., but usually bought them back, store manager David McGee told the Times.

“We know Buford,” McGee said. “Quiet guy, beady eyes. The guy has a cache like you wouldn't believe.”

In a videotape obtained by CBS News, Furrow is seen acting as a security guard for the Aryan Nations' national congress - a group that advocates the supremacy of the white race.


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Flowers mark the spot where Joseph Ileto was killed.

While the investigation continued, funeral services for postal worker Joseph Santos Ileto were planned for Saturday. Flowers mark the spot in a suburban neighborhood where Ileto died. "It is another hate crime," said Ismael Ileto, the victim's brother. "I could never imagine that my brother could be part of it."

Furrow is accused of using a 9 mm Glock to kill Ileto and an Uzi assault-style submachine gun to fire at the Jewish center.


AP
Six-year-old Josh Stepakoff

Furrow reportedly told police the children at the community center just "got in the way," and that the center wasn't his first choice, CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes. According to local Jewish leaders, he'd been in Los Angeles stalking prominent sites to attack.

Police contacted the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies to tell them a map was found indicating the spots Furrow was targeting. "It circled the Museum of Tolerance, Simon Wiesenthal, the University of Judaism," says the Weisenthal Center's Rabbi Marvin Hier. "I was told that it was just found, and it was not told, the location of where it was found."

Furrow told authorities he was deterred by the security at his initial targets, and that he stumbled across the community center after pulling off a freeway to get gas.

For the first time Friday, a member of Furrow's family spoke out. His grandmother -- who doesn't want to be identified -- says he didn't learn his hate at home. "I guess those devils he was running with put those ideas in his head," she says.

But authorities say in the center attack and Ileto's murder, he was acting alone.

The community center remains closed, guarded by police and security officers. It is expected to reopen Monday.


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Meanwhile, Furrow's injured victims are reportedly improving. Only one of the gunman's five victims remains hospitalized. Critically-injured 5-year-old Benjamin Kadish's vital signs are improving and hospital spokesman Steve Rutledge said Los Angeles Childrens Hospital doctors planned to wean him off a respirator.

Joshua Stepakoff, 6, was released from the hospital Friday afternoon, sporting floral print shorts, a black Los Angeles Police Department baseball cap and a knee-high cast on his left leg.

“My family and I want to express our sincere appreciation for the outpouring of support we have received from around the country,” said his father, Alan Stepakoff.