When Brian Quigley of Louisville bought a 9 mm Astra semi-automatic pistol from T&J’s Sporting Goods 16 years ago, he never imagined it would end up in the hands of a New York City teenager who was not even born when Quigley bought the weapon and ultimately ended up dying because of it.
Early on the morning of Aug. 4, police officers in the Bronx heard gunfire and, they say, saw 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse firing at another teenager. When the young man refused to drop his gun, police say they opened fire. Douse died of his wounds.
Now, investigators have traced the gun back to Quigley, a Kentucky man who purchased it legally in 1997 then sold it to cover his rent.
“That’s crazy,” Quigley said. “I can’t believe that gun made it all the way out there.”
Quigley also disparaged the gun’s quality, calling it a “piece of s---.”
Police noted the gun’s serial number after finding it on the street covered in blood next to Douse’s fallen body.
However, federal law prohibits the government from maintaining a searchable database of guns that have been legally purchased. So tracking a gun remains an arduous process. In this case, federal investigators found out where the gun was first bought by phoning the manufacturer, then the wholesaler, then the retailer — who was out of business.
But the manufacturer still had a record of the transaction and it was traced to Quigley.
Quigley said he sold it to his roommate to help with rent. The roommate may or may not have done the proper paperwork on the transaction, Quigley said.
After that, the gun disappears from any records.
Douse had been arrested earlier this year for owning a different gun which was allegedly used to shoot a 15-year-old boy. The victim in that case survived and refused to identify his assailant.
Douse’s family members say he was not a habitual criminal but a good science student who was the victim of bullying before he was accused of his first gun offense.
SOURCES: New York Daily News, The Daily Beast, WNYC News, Daily Mail