Orlando Shooter Turned Away From Gun Store, Owner Says

Orlando Shooter Turned Away From Gun Store, Owner Says, by Charles Passy.

About five weeks before committing the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history at an Orlando nightclub, Omar Mateen visited a gun shop in this Florida city near his home and attempted to purchase body armor and bulk ammunition, the shop’s co-owner said Wednesday.

Mateen requested a heavy-duty type of body armor that is typically used by law enforcement, said Robbie Abell, co-owner of Lotus Gunworks of South Florida.

The store doesn’t carry any armor. However, it does carry bulk ammunition.

Because of his staff’s concerns about Mateen, Mr. Abell said the store “shut him down on all sales.”

Mateen had a phone conversation while he was in the store and appeared to be speaking in Arabic, Mr. Abell said. Mateen was also texting while he was in the store, Mr. Abell said.

“The questions he was asking were not the normal questions a normal person would be asking…He just seemed very odd,” said Mr. Abell.

Mr. Abell said he believed the store was within its rights to turn away Mateen. “If something is suspicious, it’s our discretion,” he said. “We are the gatekeeper.” …

Mr. Abell said the store had been in touch with authorities following Mateen’s visit and after the shooting. Mr. Abell declined to specify which authorities.

Someone in the bureaucracy got this report but did not act. Fear of being thought Islamophobic? Certainly the gun store thought it suspicious, foregoing the profit on the sale.

hat-tip Stephen Neil