SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah man accused of making violent threats against President Joe Biden before a trip to Salt Lake City last week pointed a handgun at FBI agents attempting to arrest him, the agency said on Monday.
Craig Robertson, a 75-year-old Air Force veteran, was killed during a raid on his home in Provo last Wednesday, hours before Biden arrived. FBI agents went to his home early in the morning to arrest him for three felonies, including making threats against the president and agents who had been investigating him for months, according to court records unsealed after the raid.
“Robertson resisted arrest and as agents attempted to take him into custody, he pointed a .357 revolver at them,” FBI spokesperson Sandra Barker said in a statement Monday.
Two law enforcement sources — who spoke to The Associated Press last week on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of an ongoing investigation — said Robertson was armed at the time of the shooting. Monday’s statement provides additional details about Robertson’s weapon and that he pointed it at officers. The FBI did not respond to questions about whether Robertson shot at agents or if agents were wearing body cameras while attempting to arrest Robertson.
Two of Robertson’s children did not immediately respond to social media or telephone messages seeking comment on the statement. But last week, they rebuffed the idea that he could have hurt anyone.
For months, Robertson had been making threats against high-profile Democrats, including key players in the legal proceedings against former President Donald Trump, Vice President Kamala Harris and Biden. The threats grew more specific in the lead-up to the president’s visit, with Robertson threatening on social media to wear a camouflage “ghillie suit” and “dust off the M24 sniper rifle” to “welcome” the president.
Those threats followed months of Robertson posting photographs on social media of various firearms, which he called “eradication tools,” along with threats against public officials. The posts painted a markedly different picture of Robertson than how some neighbors described him, as a caring, religious man.
Several neighbors said Robertson — a homebound, overweight man who used a cane to walk — wasn’t shy about his right-wing political beliefs. But they questioned whether he posed a credible enough threat to the president to justify the raid.
They said FBI agents arrived early in the morning to attempt an arrest of Robertson. Several who knew Robertson said his home and the two sheds behind it contained large caches of firearms, which he modified as a post-retirement hobby.
Katie Monson, Robertson’s next-door neighbor, said last week that she saw agents attempt to breach his front door with a battering ram before driving a tactical vehicle onto his lawn, close enough to pierce his front window.
She subsequently heard an exchange of shots before tactical officers dragged Robertson onto the sidewalk to wait for emergency medical personnel. FBI investigators spent the rest of the day clearing the home and photographing evidence.
The FBI also said on Monday that its inspection division would continue to review the shooting. FBI investigations into shootings involving agents typically take months.
Associated Press writers Colleen Slevin in Denver and Lindsay Whitehurst in Washington contributed reporting.
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