Lubbock resident Marcus Anthony Braziel made the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix Wednesday afternoon. He will face sentencing on January 7th and could receive up to five years of federal prison time.
The Odessa mass shooter injured over two dozen people in addition to killing seven before law enforcement officers killed him outside an Odessa movie theater. He bought the weapon from Braziel in 2016, three years before his shooting.
Unwittingly, Braziel also sold weapons to a convicted felon, a man under felony indictment, and an illegal immigrant, all of whom would be prohibited by the ATF in a regular gun purchase by a licensed vendor.
“If you’re a firearms dealer – whether you’re selling out of a brick-and-mortar store, in your basement, or online – you must ensure that a background check is conducted on your purchasers,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said. “As this case makes clear, dealing firearms without a license isn’t some obscure, technical violation. It is unlawful conduct that has real-world impact and the potential for devastating results. The Justice Department is committed to enforcing our nation’s long-held gun laws, designed to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands.”
The Odessa shooter failed a background check before embarking on his spree. Officially “mentally defective,” Ator was classified as a prohibited person.
While simple private transfers may not require a background check, federal law requires “all persons who are engaged in the business of dealing in firearms” to get an ATF license. According to plea documents, Braziel had established a one-man gun manufacturing line, purchasing parts to assemble and sell weapons.
The Odessa killing came in a spate of mass shootings that included sprees in El Paso and Midland, leading many lawmakers to call for strengthened background checks and extreme risk protective order laws, or “red flag laws,” teased by Governor Greg Abbott and endorsed by President Donald Trump.
Below are listed the seven victims of the shooting:
- Leilah Hernandez, 15, was at a car dealership where her older brother, Nathan, was getting a truck. CBS-7 reports that Nathan tried to cover his sister and was shot in his arm, but another bullet hit near her collar bone. Her basketball teammates said that she was always smiling.
- Joe Griffith, 40, was a teacher and a member of the First Baptist Church in Odessa. On Sunday, the pastor of the church gave a sermon to console the community. “We all feel a sense of being violated. Every single one of us does because all of a sudden what we hear about from far, far away has come close to home,” he said.
- Mary Granados, 29, was the mail carrier that the gunman murdered. Her twin sister, Rosie, told CNN that she was on the phone with Mary when she was killed. “It was very painful. I just wanted to help her and I couldn’t I thought she had got bite by a dog or something. I tried calling her name and she wouldn’t answer,” she said.
- Edwin Peregrino, 25, was visiting his parents in Odessa, according to The Washington Post. When he heard gunshots, he went outside to see what was happening and was shot as the killer drove by.
- Rodolfo “Rudy” Arco, 57, owned a trucking company and was on his way home after work. According to Arizona Central, Rudy’s sister said that he had lived in Las Vegas but decided to move after the mass shooting in 2017 at a concert. “He sold everything in Vegas and moved [to Odessa], in the hopes that things would be safer for him and the family,” she said.
- Kameron Karltess Brown, 30, served in the Army in Afghanistan and was an employee at Standard Safety and Supply. He was shot near Ratliff Stadium in Odessa.
- Raul Garcia, 35, was from El Paso and was on his way home to be with his four children, “Just like my son said, ‘Mom, now he’ll be a truck driver in heaven,’” his wife Perla said, holding back tears according to ABC-7.
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