Gun Store Owner Says He Tipped FBI Off About Suspicious Customer Weeks Before Orlando ShootingThe FBI has some explaining to do. A gun store owner in Jensen Beach, Fla., has said that he alerted the intelligence agency's West Palm Beach outpost about an incident involving a suspicious customer who turned out to be Pulse Orlando shooter Omar Mateen.
The FBI has some explaining to do. A gun store owner in Jensen Beach, Fla., has said that he alerted the intelligence agency’s West Palm Beach outpost about an incident involving a suspicious customer who turned out to be Pulse Orlando shooter Omar Mateen.
Worse, Lotus Gunworks’ co-owner Robert Abell’s attempted tip-off happened five or six weeks before the massacre that left 49 people dead and more than 50 wounded.
ABC News relayed these details on Thursday:
Robert Abell, a co-owner of Lotus Gunworks in Jensen Beach, Florida, told ABC News today that a man entered the store five or six weeks ago and asked specific questions about high-end body armor. When employees said the store didn’t carry the body armor he wanted, Abell said, the man made a phone call in a foreign language, hung up and then asked about ammunition in bulk.
Abell said a member of his staff thought the questions were “odd” and made him uncomfortable, so he turned the man away.
Abell added that they thought the man was “very suspicious,” so they called the local FBI office in West Palm Beach and reported the incident. But they didn’t have the man’s name, since no sale was made, and the only surveillance footage they had was grainy.
“We gave them information and everything that took place, and that was the end of the conversation,” he said.
The gun store staff also followed up with FBI agents after their initial contact, but no investigation was done.
More information continues to emerge about the shooting: The New York Daily News reported Thursday that Mateen conducted Facebook searches during the course of his attack, using the terms “Pulse Orlando” and “shooting” as he checked for updates on the social media platform.
–Posted by Kasia AndersonWait, before you go…
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