Slain Felon Lied to Buy Firearm Before Wounding Three Officers
A homicide suspect who was killed by Kansas City police after wounding three officers was able to pass a firearm-purchase background check despite an extensive criminal history in Oklahoma.
The FBI said in a statement that Marlin Mack, 25, gave false biographical information to an Independence gun shop, The Kansas City Star reported. Mack was being sought in the July 6 killing of Sharath Koppu, an Indian engineering student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, when he went to the Armory KC gun store.
Despite a criminal history that includes a robbery conviction, he was cleared to purchase a firearm because the fabricated information he provided "did not match a prohibited record," the FBI said.
Officials didn't say what specific information he falsified or whether the purchase included a firearm used in a series of gunfights with police on July 15. The wounded officers survived.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating how Mack came into possession of the firearm, said John Ham, a spokesman for the agency's Kansas City field office. Mack's criminal record dated back to his days as a teen in Tulsa, when he was arrested for stealing a car. Other run-ins with the law included robbing a woman in front of her three small children and then fleeing in a vehicle with his girlfriend. Because the ATF investigation is ongoing, Ham declined further comment.
Cory Hubbard, an owner of the Armory KC gun store, said no one at the shop was aware that police had identified Mack as a suspect in the student's death during an armed robbery at a restaurant. Mack was well-dressed, presented the proper personal identification and passed the federal background check with no problems.
"We get so many people," Hubbard said. "It wasn't like hey, that guy was a customer. We didn't have any idea until the feds popped in and told us about it. Obviously, it's terrible."
Hubbard declined to say what type of firearm Mack purchased. He said the gun shop followed all federal guidelines.
"We love our local law enforcement. We would never sell anything that we thought would harm anyone," Hubbard said. "If we had any kind of clue, obviously we would not have sold him the gun."