SEATTLE (AP) — A yearlong Associated Press analysis found more than a dozen firearms sold by law enforcement agencies in Washington state since 2010 later became evidence in new criminal investigations.
Identifying guns sold by law enforcement and matching them to new crimes required extensive research and dozens of public records requests to individual agencies.
Using those records, the AP created a database of almost 6,000 firearms sold by law enforcement since 2010. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declined to release tracking information on guns associated with crimes, so the AP collected that information from individual agencies and compared it with its own database to find firearms with matching make, model, caliber and serial numbers.
Below are details about guns sold by law enforcement that were later picked up at crime scenes:
BABY SHOT IN CAR SEAT
The Washington State Patrol traded a batch of crime guns with a firearms dealer in June 2010. The batch included a Lorcin L380 semi-automatic pistol. In April 2015, a gang member shot at a car carrying a couple and their year-old daughter. One of the bullets hit the child in the head and killed her. While searching a home frequented by the suspected shooter and many other gang members, the Kent Police Department found a Lorcin L380 semi-automatic pistol — the gun sold by the State Patrol.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office in April 2014 sold a list of guns at auction that included a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun. In October 2016, Jaylen Bolar sent text messages to his mother, threatening to kill her and others. Angela Almo contacted a behavioral health center instead of the police because she knew her son had firearms, including a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and she feared he’d be killed in a standoff with authorities.
When the Tacoma police became involved, he denied it, but his aunt confirmed that she, too, had received threats. Robin Olson showed an officer her phone, which contained a message from Bolar asking his uncle to kill him because he was tired of living.
Bolar also threatened to kill a woman who used to be his boss. He was taken into custody, and a search of his home found two firearms in his bedroom. One was the Mossberg shotgun sold by the sheriff’s office.
JUVENILES IN STOLEN CAR
The Aberdeen Police Department sold a Lorcin Model L380 pistol in February 2011. In May 2016, the Kent Police Department located a stolen vehicle parked at the Benson Village…