Alabama church shooter Robert Findlay Smith was gun dealer

The madman who allegedly killed three people at an Alabama church was a federally licensed arms dealer who allegedly failed to keep track of a gun he sold, violating authorities, according to a new report.

Robert Findlay Smith, 70, from Birmingham, was sitting alone at a potluck dinner at Stephen’s Episcopal Church when he suddenly pulled out a handgun and opened fire on three elderly attendees.

He was only arrested after another worshiper hit him with a chair, pushed him to the ground and retrieved the gun.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had sent Smith a warning letter in February 2018 after an “on-site” compliance investigation at his Sicard Hollow Road home, AL.com reported, citing a joint investigation by The Trace and USA Today into how the ATF monitors arms dealers and manufacturers.

Smith, who did business as “Original Magazine 2,” earned the warning after failing to record the sale or disposition of a firearm in seven days.

Photograph by Robert Findlay Smith
The 70-year-old was an arms dealer who allegedly got into trouble for not recording arms sales.
Jefferson County Jail/AP

And while there were 86 firearms, the investigation by the two outlets found ATF records that indicated Smith’s inventory showed 97 firearms and that he “omitted save the layout of… [the] fire arms “.

No one at the church appeared to know Smith, and the motive for Thursday’s murders of Walter Rainey, 84, Sarah Yeager, 75, and Jane Pounds, 84, who died of their injuries the following day, n is not clear.

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