Our network

High-Profile Shootings Connected Through Weapons Purchase | Crime

Title (Max 100 Characters)

High-Profile Shootings Connected Through Weapons Purchase

LAS VEGAS -- The Pentagon shooter, 36-year-old John Bedell, has a connection to the man who opened fire in Las Vegas earlier this year at the federal courthouse. Both men got their guns from the same place -- the Memphis Police Department. Memphis sells weapon from criminal cases.

North Las Vegas Police, Las Vegas Metro Police and Henderson Police all destroy weapons from criminal cases.

Sergeant Tim Bedwell with North Las Vegas Police says it's the departments policy to destroy weapons that come from criminal cases rather than sell or trade them. Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton says the practice of selling guns has to stop.

"I just don't want our city of having any role in getting a confiscated gun back on the streets," he said.

Sergeant Bedwell says destroying these weapons never leaves doubt where they may end up.

"The potential for it to be used in an unlawful situation is where it would get the most press and media attention and that would come back and reflect on the department and I think that's the mind set," he said.

Memphis uses this buy and sell concept as a way to make money from the weapons.

North Las Vegas found a way to get guns off the street through its gun turn-in program

"We took hundreds of guns and if we are going to be in a situation where we are trying to get rid of guns, it would definitely look hypocritical of us to turn around and sell other guns," said Bedwell.

Nevada police agencies can legally sell weapons from criminal cases, but each choose not to.  Memphis can legally sell confiscated guns to licensed gun dealers, but those weapons end up being sold to other people.