Dallas gunman used Facebook to buy AK-47 from private seller in 2014

dallas shooting facebook gun guns
The shooter responsible for killing five police officers and injuring several civilians in Dallas last week bought an assault rifle from a private seller on Facebook in 2014.

Law enforcement agencies got in touch with the seller, Colton Crews, 26, after raiding Micah Johnson’s home in Mesquite, Texas, as part of their investigation.

Johnson, 25, had fired at police officers from the upper levels of a downtown Dallas parking garage using an assault rifle and handgun during a Black Lives Matter rally. Police later cornered Johnson and used a robot to detonate a bomb next to him, killing him.

Crews claims that he asked a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent whether it was his AK-47, sold to Johnson two years prior, that was used in the Dallas shooting.

“He said, ‘All we can say is it was recovered. We’re just finding out everything we can,’” Crews told the New York Daily News. “He didn’t say it was the one he used. I hope to God it wasn’t. I hope I’m not that close to all this.”

Facebook’s growing concerns over the use of its social network by gun owners to circumvent background checks when selling weapons resulted in a complete ban on private gun sales on its platform in January.

At the time, Facebook’s head of product policy, Monika Bickert, said the following: “Over the last two years, more and more people have been using Facebook to discover products and to buy and sell things to one another. We are continuing to develop, test and launch new products to make this experience even better for people and are updating our regulated goods policies to reflect this evolution.”

Crews claims that he had no hesitations about Johnson, an ex-Army reservist, when selling him the weapon. The transaction reportedly took place in the parking lot of a Target store, with Crews stating that he had previously performed a quick online check on his customer. Texas law does not require private sellers, who are not licensed gun dealers, to perform background checks on prospective buyers.

“He didn’t stand out as a nut job. He didn’t stand out as a crazy person at all,” Crews said. “He stood out as just another guy. And he was U.S. service, so he was like your first pick when you’re selling a gun to somebody.”

In the wake of the deadly Dallas shootings, a memorial service was held on Tuesday for the five police officers that were killed during the ambush.

Emerging Tech

Death from above? How we’re preparing for a future filled with weaponized drones

Drones are beginning to enable everything from search & rescue, to the delivery of medicines to hard-to-reach places. But they are also being used as cheap, and deadly flying bombs. How can we defend ourselves?
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games out right now

More than four years into its lifespan, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Product Review

'Black Ops 4' outshines the games it copies with that Call of Duty polish

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s omission of a campaign could have been a deal breaker, but multiplayer, Zombies, and the new Blackout mode make it one of the best shooters of the year.
Computing

Was your Facebook account hacked in the latest breach? Here’s how to find out

Facebook now reports that its latest data breach affected only 30 million users, down from an initial estimate of 50 million accounts. You can also find out if hackers had accessed your account by visiting a dedicated portal.
Mobile

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Social Media

Like a pocketable personal stylist, Pinterest overhauls shopping tools

Pinterest shopping just got a bit better with a trio of updates now rolling out to Pinterest. The first replaces Buyable Pins with Product Pins for more features, including knowing whether or not a product is in stock.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.
Social Media

Twitter has sorted out those weird notifications it was sending

Twitter started churning out weird notifications of seemingly nonsensical letters and numbers to many of its users on Tuesday morning. The bizarre incident even prompted Twitter boss Jack Dorsey to get involved.
Photography

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Home Theater

Facebook might be planning a streaming box for your TV that watches you back

Facebook is reportedly working on a piece of streaming media hardware for your living room with a built-in camera for video calls, something people may not want given the company's recent controversies.
Computing

Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.
Social Media

Over selfies and an onslaught of ads? Here's how delete your Instagram account

Despite its outstanding popularity and photo-sharing dominance, Instagram isn't for everyone. Thankfully, deleting your account is as easy as logging into the site and clicking a few buttons. Here's what you need to do.