Following the deadly shootout at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a local gun shop is being attacked online for selling the weapon used by Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 people.
In a recent report by TMZ, it has been revealed that Sunrise Tactical Supply is facing major backlash after they sold Cruz the AR-15 a year ago. According to the outlet, the troubled teenager managed to purchase a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle after passing background checks.
While authorities said the gun store followed due process in selling the weapon to Cruz, the establishment was still bombarded with negative comments. In fact, some of the messages were so severe that it has directly affected the business.
Apparently, some commenters put the blame on Sunrise Tactical Supply, calling the company “merchants of death.” There were also some who pointed out that the gun shop is somehow “complicit” in the Florida school shooting because they sold a weapon to an 18-year-old guy with “mental health problems.”
The local gun shop has been getting 1-star reviews as well. These allegedly prompted Yelp to place an active cleanup alert on the company’s page that will help filter the reviews and messages.
Apparently, comments not based on firsthand experience will be removed. According to the outlet, this move will help “shield the business from online harassment.”
Meanwhile, Sunrise Tactical Supply owners, Michael and Lisa Morrison, were reportedly shocked and mortified about Cruz’s horrifying attack. In a statement released by their lawyer, Douglas Rudman, it has been reiterated that “they condemn in the strongest possible fashion anyone who use [sic] any weapon in anger and violence.”
He also pointed out that the store owners will support new legislation that would prohibit people with mental health issues to purchase deadly weapons, such as guns.
According to The New York Daily News, Sunrise Tactical Supply, which is located in a Coral Springs, Florida, strip mall, has been closed indefinitely. Rudman said that the store owners decided to shut down their business “out of respect” for those affected by the incident.
Cruz, who is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder, will reportedly plead guilty if the death penalty is taken off the table, reports the Miami Herald. Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein said in a statement that they are overwhelmingly saddened by the incident, but pointed out that “every system failed.”
He also said that Cruz is deeply troubled and remorseful over his actions, adding that he is fully aware of the magnitude of his actions.