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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

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

Date: December 18, 1997

Location: Caltrans Maintenance Yard, Orange, California

Alleged Shooter: Arturo Reyes Torres

People Killed: Five (shooter killed by police)

People Injured: Two

Firearm(s): Chinese-made 7.62mm AK-47 assault rifle


Torres, an avid hunter and gun collector, had recently been fired from his job at Caltrans for allegedly stealing and selling government-owned materials. He believed he was set up by his supervisor and returned to Caltrans seeking revenge. Torres killed four people�including his former supervisor�and wounded two others, firing 144 rounds from his AK-47 in just over two minutes. Torres was shot and killed by police.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

The rifle was purchased legally on April 30, 1988, from B&B Gun Sales in Orange County, California. Torres was a gun enthusiast whose collection included two AK-47s, three 12-gauge shotguns, six handguns, and six rifles. According to police, all his guns were legally owned and kept in a five-foot-tall metal safe.


  1. Esther Schrader, "A Rifle's Journey, From Import to O.C. Assault," Los Angeles Times, 25 January 1998, sec. A, p. 1.
  2. David Haldane, "Gun Battle in Orange; The Aftermath," Los Angeles Times, 20 December 1997, sec. A, p. 28.

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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.