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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

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

Date: April 28, 1995

Location: Albertson's supermarket, Lakewood, Colorado

Alleged Shooter: Albert Petrosky

People Killed: Three

People Injured: One

Firearm(s): Grizzly .50 sniper rifle, SKS 7.62mm assault rifle, .32 pistol, and a 9mm pistol


Albert Petrosky walked into an Albertson's supermarket in suburban Colorado, gunning down his estranged wife and the manager of the store. Earlier in the week, Petrosky's wife had told him that she "cared for someone else." Petrosky then walked out of the store backwards into the parking lot, where he began spraying gunfire. Upon its arrival, a patrol car responding to 911 calls was fired on by Petrosky. The sheriff's deputy driving the car was fatally shot in the chest, face, and abdomen.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

Petrosky legally bought the .50 Grizzly rifle from a Northglenn gun dealer for $2,500�no background check was required. Petrosky's .32 pistol had been returned to him after being seized by police following an arrest for drunk driving and illegally carrying a concealed weapon.


  1. Mark Stevens, "Death of Sergeant Infuriates Sheriff," The Denver Post, 29 April 1995, sec. A, p. 8.
  2. Barbara Vobejda and David Ottaway, "The 50-Caliber Rifle; On Streets, Firepower For an Army; Police Fear Weapon is Falling Into Wrong Hands," The Washington Post, 17 August 1999, sec. A, p. 1.
  3. Charlie Brennan, "Authorities Investigate Gun Sale, Rifle Used in Albertson's Slaying Wasn't Illegal, but Cops Want to Know Details of its Purchase," Denver Rocky Mountain News, 1 May 1995, sec. A, p. 4.
  4. Lynn Bartels, "Suspect Failed Handgun Check, but Man Held in Albertson's Killings Was Able to Buy Rifle Not Covered By Brady Law's Background Check Provision," Denver Rocky Mountain News, 2 May 1995, sec. A, p. 5.
  5. Steven Boland, "Petrosky Eluded Arrest Tries," The Denver Post, 1 May 1995, sec. B, p. 1.
  6. Guy Kelly, "Supermarket Gunman Kills 3, Hurts 1, Suspect's Wife, Store Manager and Deputy Slain; Bystander Shot in Leg During Rampage," Denver Rocky Mountain News, 29 April 1995, sec. A, p. 4
  7. Steve Jackson, "A Shock to the System," Denver Westword, 11 June 1998.

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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.