A Bedford-Stuyvesant man busted earlier this month on weapons charges was allegedly toting an assault rifle rigged for automatic fire, which used the same tech employed by a Nevada mass murderer during his 2017 shooting spree that slew 58 people in Las Vegas, court documents show.
Cops spotted the suspect’s rifle protruding from a bag on Halsey Street near Nostrand Avenue on March 1 at 10:55 p.m., and cuffed him following a chase, during which the man hurled his luggage at Brooklyn’s Boys in Blue after failing to pull out the gun, according to a Federal complaint document released on March 25.
In addition to several spare magazines and the nearly 90 rounds of .556 and 9 mm ammunition found in his bag, the suspect’s AR-15 rifle — a civilian version of the military’s M16 — was equipped with a bump stock, which uses the weapon’s recoil to allow it to function like a fully automatic machine gun, court documents show.
Stephen Paddock utilized bump stock-equipped AR-15s in his assault on a Las Vegas music festival from his hotel room in 2017, where he fired more than 1,000 rounds into the crowd, striking more than 400 people, in addition to the 58 casualties.
The Las Vegas massacre incited a push to outlaw bump stocks in states across the country, and the Bedford-Stuyvesant man’s arrest came just weeks before a Trump Administration ban on bump stocks kicks into affect on March 26, making anyone found in possession of the rapid-fire gun tech in violation of federal law.
The day after his arrest, the suspect told investigators he had been attacked at a party the night before, and that he was on his way back to that house with the firearm when cops spotted him, according to court documents.
The suspect, whose record includes a 2001 conviction for felony attempted robbery, was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court earlier this month, but his case was bumped up to federal court after investigators determined the firearm was manufactured across state lines, according to a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.