gun shop owner who sold AR-15 to accused killer says his client is “afraid” of how the community will treat him and his family and their safety in the wake of Wednesday’s deadly mass shooting. pic.twitter.com/142CqvbkyE
— Michael Seiden (@SeidenLocal10) February 16, 2018
Lisa and Michael Morrison, owners of Sunrise Tactical Supply in Coral Springs, Florida, are wracked with guilt after learning that Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz purchased an AR-15 rifle from their store earlier this month, their lawyer said. Authorities say it’s the same weapon that was used in the attack that killed at least 17 people on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Their attorney, Douglas Rudman, told reporters that “no red flags were raised” at the time Cruz bought the weapon, because he didn’t buy any ammunition, accessories, or modifications while he was at the store.
“It seems like Mr. Cruz made a deliberate attempt to not draw suspicion by not buying too many things from one place,” Rudman said, according to the Miami Herald.
A lawyer for the shop’s corporate entity said that everything was done by the book when the transaction was made. Cruz filled out the appropriate form required by the Department of Justice, provided his driver’s license, and gave his personal information. In the spot that asked if he had ever been institutionalized or adjudicated for mental illness, he said no.
“What I understand is that was answered appropriately,” attorney Stuart Kaplan said. “I think the bigger question is: We know that he suffered from some sort of mental health illness. I guess we need to decide or find out whether or not he was being treated …and I think that loophole is whether or not a mental health professional who is treating an individual should have some sort of reporting requirement or is there some sort of database that would collect this information[.]”
Despite a lack of evidence that they did anything wrong, the Morrisons feel a “tremendous sense of responsibility in this situation and just horribleness that they feel that one of their weapons fell into the hands of this maniac,” Rudman said.
In the meantime, the Morrison’s store is closed, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. They’re worried about what will happen when the reopen.
“They are scared — not just for their safety — but more importantly about how the reaction is going to be for the rest of the community as they try to reenter it,” Rudman said.
In the meantime, Rudman has advised them to stay off of social media and to lay low.
“They do have concerns about what’s going to happen when they reemerge from their cocoon, and they go back to the grocery store or their kids go back to school,” he said.
[Image via screengrab]