UPDATE: Gunman Kills 3 Seniors Over Potluck Dinner at Alabama Church Alabama Church Shooter Was a Licensed Gun Dealer

Robert Smith, Former Responsible Gun Owner

VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — Robert F. Smith, a 70-year-old man prosecutors claim shot and killed three people inside an Alabama church Thursday, was a licensed gun dealer, according to government records. Federal inspection reports show that Smith had received a warning letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in 2018 related to missing gun inventory.

According to the database, the warning letter was issued in February 2018. The letter said Smith had 86 firearms on hand, compared to 97 listed in his records. Smith “failed to the record the disposition” of multiple firearms, the letter said.

The letter also cited issues with Smith’s record keeping, saying that he “failed to record” necessary information like addresses and license numbers in records as required by law.

CBS 42

Gunman Kills 3 Seniors Over Potluck Dinner at Alabama Church

VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (AP) — The 70-year-old visitor had previously attended some services at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church before police say he showed up for a potluck dinner, pulled out a handgun and fatally shot three of the elderly participants, one of whom died in his wife’s arms as she whispered words of love in his ear.

At Thursday’s dinner, church member Walter Bartlett Rainey invited the visitor to join his table,  Rev. Doug Carpenter said, but the man declined. He said Rainey’s wife noticed the visitor wasn’t eating. “Linda Rainey said he didn’t have any food and she offered to fix a plate for him, and he turned that down”.

Soon afterward, Carpenter said, the man drew his gun and opened fire — shooting Walter Rainey and two other church members. Carpenter said another member, a man in his 70s, grabbed a chair and charged the gunman. “He hit him with a folding chair, wrestling him to the ground, took the gun from him and hit him in the head with his own gun,” Carpenter said.

Three church members were killed. Linda Rainey was not harmed.


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