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Law Enforcement

Guns That Killed Omaha, NYPD Officers Traced to Same Georgia Pawn Shop

Arrowhead Pawn Shop was once named a top exporter of crime guns.

The handgun used to kill an Omaha, Nebraska, police officer in May has been traced to the same pawn shop that sold the gun used to kill two NYPD officers in 2014, an indictment has revealed.

According to a June 30 filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, a straw purchaser named Jalita Johnson purchased a 9 mm Glock pistol, a 50-round drum magazine, and ammunition at Arrowhead Pawn Shop in Jonesboro, Georgia, on April 23 for her boyfriend, Marcus Wheeler. On May 20, Wheeler, who was wanted for another shooting, engaged Omaha police in a shootout. Officer Kerrie Orozco, 29, who was a day away from her maternity leave, was killed.

Last December, the silver Taurus semiautomatic handgun used to kill NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos as they sat in a squad car in Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn was traced back to Arrowhead, which was named the top source of out-of-state crime guns recovered by the NYPD in 2010. That same year, The Washington Post ranked Arrowhead fifth on a list of gun dealers with the most crime gun traces over the previous four years, clocking in at 1,720.

Four days after the NYPD murders – and four months before Johnson’s straw purchase – The New York Times traveled to Jonesboro to profile Arrowhead:

Speaking about Arrowhead, a former federal law enforcement official who carried out gun investigations in the South said: “They were like a Crazy Eddie of gun dealers. They had a lot of volume and they did a lot of business.”

“Some of it is a willful ignorance, or just a mind-set of, ‘My obligation is only to follow the letter of the law,’ as opposed to some gun dealers who sort of take it to the next length and say, ‘Anything I think doesn’t seem right, I have no obligation to sell, and I’m not going to sell,’” said Daniel Webster, the director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins University, who has researched gun trafficking.

The gun that killed another NYPD officer in May was traced to a different gun shop in Georgia, which is a top supplier of guns trafficked along the so-called Iron Pipeline.

[Photo: Screenshot arrowheadpawn.com]