Report: Capitol gunman denied weapon |

Report: Capitol gunman denied weapon

FORT COLLINS ” A gunman who was shot and killed in the state Capitol last week after claiming to be an emperor had tried to buy a weapon at a Fort Collins shop but was turned down after saying he had suffered “delusions and depressions,” the shop owner told the Coloradoan newspaper.

Tim Brough, owner of Rocky Mountain Shooters Supply, said Aaron Snyder told him “he was the divine leader of the nation and as such felt he should have a handgun” when he tried to buy a weapon in March, the Coloradoan reported on its Web site Monday.

Brough told the newspaper he refused to sell Snyder a handgun “because he didn’t state any purpose” for wanting it.

Snyder, 32, was shot just outside Gov. Bill Ritter’s office by a member of Ritter’s security detail on July 16 after showing a gun and refusing orders to back down. Investigators said he was carrying a loaded .357 handgun.

No one besides the gunman was hurt.

A month after Snyder was turned down in Fort Collins, he bought a Smith and Wesson .357 legally at a Thornton gun shop, Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman said.

Jason Perez, manager of the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Thornton, said last week that Snyder passed the required state background check for gun purchases.

Perez was not working Monday and was unavailable for comment, store workers said.

Snyder lived in Thornton but had graduated from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and briefly worked as an intern at a technology firm there.

After Snyder bought his handgun in Thornton store, he returned to Fort Collins shop and asked to practice shooting at its gun range, Brough said. Brough said he told Snyder he would have to take a gun safety class first.

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