Military Ordinance Also Discovered Stored In Basement; Tank In Backyard

CARMEL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Authorities found explosive materials, weapons and ammunition while investigating the death of a Putnam County man this week, police said.

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Jonathan Orser, 41, of Mahopac was found dead of a shotgun wound to the chest after his wife returned to their East Lake Boulevard home from a social engagement around 11:35 p.m. Tuesday night, police said.

The shooting didn’t appear suspicious, but the investigation was continuing, police said.

The explosives were found after investigators learned Orser was a gun enthusiast and might have automatic weapons in the house.

“He was a gun aficionado,” Carmel Police Department Chief Michael Johnson told 1010 WINS. “I believe he was a survivalist and believed to be that he should be well-armed for the future and apparently he was.”

The Westchester Bomb Squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene Thursday evening to remove the items from the home.

“We evacuated neighboring houses at the suggestion of the Westchester Bomb Squad and we shut off traffic in front of the residence on East Lake Boulevard,” Johnson said. “While the disposal was taking place of the various items the site was quarantined.”

The final count on Friday included more than 100 hand guns, rifles, shotguns, tubs of black powder, ammunition, and military ordinance, CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported.

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The bomb squad and AFT removed blasting caps, low explosive powders, hand grenades, a large amount of ammunition, and a large cache of automatic weapons, police said.

“He also had a large container of blasting caps that are very volatile and could have set the whole house off,” Chief Johnson said.

Among the weapons was a Browning .50-caliber machine gun and a .30-caliber machine CBS 2’s John Slattery reported.

A decommissioned military tank was also discovered in the backyard, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

Weapons found in the Mahopac, N.Y. home of Jonathan Orser - June 28, 2013 (credit: Peter Haskell / WCBS 880)

Weapons found in the Mahopac, N.Y. home of Jonathan Orser – June 28, 2013 (credit: Peter Haskell / WCBS 880)

Military ordinance found stored in the basement was being removed by the 725-Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit based in Fort Drum and transported to West Point for disposal, police said.

A neighbor said she found the whole thing scary.

“It’s amazing. You never know what’s going on right next door to you,” she told Haskell.

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