October 30, 1995 in Nation/World

Shop Is Source Of Criminals’ Guns Maryland Store Tied To Shooting At Fort Bragg, Other Crimes

Margaret Scherf Associated Press
 

A weapon recovered near a sniper’s ambush at Fort Bragg, N.C., was bought at a Maryland shop that federal and state officials say has provided guns connected with numerous crimes, a government source said Sunday.

A 9 mm Glock pistol found at the scene of the shootings Friday was purchased from the Freestate Arms and Munitions gun shop in Temple Hills, Md., in 1990, said the government source, who spoke on condition of not being further identified.

The name of Army Sgt. William J. Kreutzer, 26, of Clinton, Md., is listed as the purchaser of the gun, said the source.

Kreutzer is the suspect in the shootings that killed one and injured 18 at the Army base.

The owner of the gun shop was arrested Sept. 27 after an investigation by Maryland state police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms on charges of having an expired firearms license and selling weapons without having conducted the required background checks.

“Gun traces conducted by ATF agents have found that in the past 18 months, the last recorded point of sale for more than 100 weapons recovered in crimes was the Freestate Arms and Munitions store,” said a news release issued Sept. 27 by Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening.

“The crimes include 10 homicides and three assaults, including an assault on a police officer,” it said.

The ATF’s special agent in charge, Margaret M. Moore, said then that “this is a significant case because Freestate Arms is responsible for supplying firearms to criminals. These weapons have been documented through ATF’s tracing program to have been recovered in violent crimes in Washington, D.C., and (adjacent) Prince George’s County.”

State and federal agents arrested Jay F. Brooking, 39, of Silver Spring, Md., and charged him with 10 counts of violating laws regarding the proper sale or transfer of pistols and revolvers.

The store was closed by Maryland authorities because the owner had not renewed his license. Authorities said it had been operating without a Maryland Firearms dealers license since July 1.

State troopers who served a search warrant at the gun store on Sept. 27 said they recovered more than 100 weapons.

“On one occasion during the investigation, an undercover trooper purchased an Uzi assault pistol over the counter,” according to the news release.

Brooking’s phone number was unlisted, and he could not be reached for comment. The phone listing for Freestate was an unworking number.


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