NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Court documents are shedding new light on what led state police investigators to discover a cache of ghost guns and other weapons at a North Smithfield home.
According to a search warrant filed at Kent County District Court last week, state police were investigating Elliott Knorr, 43, after detectives learned there was a video that allegedly showed an intentional — and requested — shooting in the defendant’s backyard.
Detectives wrote Knorr asked a friend to shoot him in the back with “bird shot” from a pump-action shotgun. The incident from the spring of 2021 was captured on video and disseminated to Knorr’s associates, according to the affidavit for the search warrant.
The video, which was obtained by detectives after a search of the defendant’s home, showed Knorr walking to the rear of his backyard, which abuts a park that often has “numerous families with toddler aged children.”
“Once Elliot Knorr reached the end of the property line in the backyard, he turned toward the camera and a voice can be heard saying, ‘you ready?’” police wrote in the affidavit. “A voice can then be heard again saying, ‘just do it.’”
The video shows Knorr turning away from the camera then a gunshot is heard.
“Elliot Knorr immediately reached for his lower back area reacting to this stimulus,” according to the report. “A female rollerblader (unknown if female is a juvenile) passed by the backdrop of Elliot Knorr’s position and into the direct line of fire.”
The affidavit states the person on rollerblades is seen “flinching as the gunshot rang out.”
Detectives from the state police conducted a search of Knorr’s home on Main Street in North Smithfield on March 29. Inside they found 15 completed ghost guns, 36 large-capacity feeding devices and various ghost gun parts. They also found a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun believed to be used in the shooting incident.
Knorr was charged with 19 counts, including 15 charges of possession of a ghost gun, one count of firing in a compact area as well as conspiracy to fire in a compact area.
It is unclear if the unknown male in the video who shot Knorr has been identified.
Knorr was charged the same day as the search on his home. He was released on $25,000 surety bail ($2,500 cash) and ordered to surrender his firearms.
Tim White (email@example.com) is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.