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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

An Analysis of the Firearms Used in High-Profile Shootings, 1963 to 2001

Date: November 22, 1994

Location: Metropolitan Police Headquarters, Washington, DC

Alleged Shooter: Bennie Lee Lawson

People Killed: Four (shooter committed suicide)

People Injured: One

Firearm(s): Cobray M-11 assault pistol


Bennie Lee Lawson entered Washington, DC, police headquarters, walked into the office of the homicide "cold case" squad, shot and killed two FBI agents and a DC police sergeant, and wounded another FBI agent before killing himself.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

Lawson illegally bought his gun from Rodney Finklea, who was later convicted of gun trafficking conspiracy and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. In addition to the Cobray M-11 assault pistol, Finklea dealt Chinese versions of AK-47 assault rifles.


  1. Nancy Lewis, "Man Convicted of Providing Gun Used to Kill Agents, D.C. Officer," The Washington Post, 26 June 1995, sec. B, p. 3.
  2. "Slain Agent's Husband Awarded $1.7 Million," The New York Times, 9 March 1997, sec. A, p. 27.

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 All contents � 2001 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.