Pizzeria co-worker tied to gun purchase

Colo. killers used high-powered pistol in school massacre

April 30, 1999|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

LITTLETON, Colo. -- Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold got the high-powered, semiautomatic pistol used in last week's high school massacre with the help of a man who worked with them at a pizza delivery store, law-enforcement officials said yesterday.

"He did have a role in it," said Sgt. Jim Parr, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, noting that the man they were interviewing had hired a lawyer.

If the co-worker acted as a middleman, linking two minors with the owner of the weapon, he could face charges as an accessory to the crime of selling a handgun to someone under 18.

If he had knowledge of the two young men's plans for mayhem, charges could be stiffer. Klebold was 17 when he and Harris killed themselves after slaying 12 students and a teacher. Harris turned 18 two weeks before the shootings.

Christopher Lau, the owner of the store, Blackjack Pizza, said he did not know anything about the investigation.

The Denver Post reported yesterday that the pistol, a Tec-DC9, went from its Miami manufacturer to Zander Sporting Goods, a firearms wholesaler in Illinois, then to Just Guns, a suburban gun store five miles north of Denver. The gun store closed about a year ago, and the owner, Royce Spain, told the Post that a former employee had sold the pistol for him at a gun show.

Besides the pistol, officials said three long guns, provided by Robyn Anderson, who went to the prom with Klebold three days before the shooting, were used in the attack.

Anderson, 18, bought one or more of the long guns late last year at the Tanner Gun Show, according to the Jefferson County sheriff, John P. Stone. The sheriff said Anderson is a witness, not a suspect.

A friend, Tiffany Burk, has said that Anderson did not know anything about Klebold's massacre plans and that during the shootout she was caught in a school parking lot, where she cowered under the seat of her car for three hours.

In the only arrest in the case, police took into custody yesterday a sales clerk at a local hardware store where the two young men apparently bought bomb-making materials -- propane tanks, screws and nails.

Gary Sowell, 50, was charged with making a false report to authorities. The details of the charges were not available.

Among the other leads investigators are pursuing is the medical problem noted by the Marine Corps when it rejected Harris as a recruit five days before the attack.

Harris was rejected because he had been taking the anti-depressant drug Luvox, the New York Times reported. Luvox is often used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents.

Investigators said they were interested in whether Harris' condition could be linked to the crime.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.