The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) raided the gun shop where Nancy Lanza, the mother of Newtown, Conn. shooter Adam Lanza, bought at least one of the guns used in last week’s massacre, WFSB-TV Hartford Bureau Chief Len Besthoff first reported on Twitter Thursday.
— Len Besthoff-WFSB (@lbwfsb) December 20, 2012
ATF, along with the East Windsor police, raided Riverview Gun Sales in Windsor, Conn., the Hartford Courant confirms. Police did not reveal the reason behind the raid on Thursday, however, officials said it was not prompted by a single incident. An official said that an ongoing investigation was accelerated by recent developments, though the official didn’t say what those developments entailed.
The Hartford Courant, citing “law enforcement sources,” reports that federal agents’ interest in the gun shop grew out of circumstances at the shop that are not related to Nancy Lanza’s purchase of firearms.
The sources said her guns appeared to have been legally purchased and registered properly.
Federal firearms inspectors were reportedly inspecting the business records of Riverview Gun Sales on Thursday night.
“ATF is currently involved in an enforcement operation in the East Windsor area,” ATF spokeswoman Debora A. Seifert said, but refused to provide any additional information.
Riverview Gun Sales is reportedly the same store where police believe a different man stole an “assault weapon” and was possibly planning to carry out an attack, WFSB-TV reports.
From the Hartford Courant:
On Saturday, a South Windsor man — who had received a suspended prison sentence and two years probation in May for stealing a dozen rifles and shotguns from Riverview Sales — tried to steal a sniper rifle from the same store, police said.
Jordan Marsh, 26, pleaded guilty May 10 to a single count of stealing a firearm and received a suspended prison sentence and two years of probation. He initially faced 12 counts of stealing a firearm and other larceny charges.
According to East Windsor police, on Saturday, Marsh grabbed a Bushmaster .50-caliber rifle from Riverview Sales valued at $5,000 and ran from the store. When store employees confronted Marsh, he pulled a knife, then fled on foot. Police officers eventually caught and arrested him.
“Police said Riverview Gun Sales had no idea the AR-15 Marsh stole was missing. Management at the store didn’t know about 11 guns that Marsh had allegedly stolen last year until they were notified by detectives,” WFSB-TV reports.
Riverview Gun Sales has had inventory issues in the past. State police raided a Connecticut home in 2007 and reportedly found a number of stolen firearms belonging to the store.
East Windsor police Detective Matthew Carl previously told WFSB-TV that at one point, the “Riverview gun store was missing upwards of 30 plus guns.”
This story has been updated with additional information.