Where'd They Get Their Guns?
An Analysis of the Firearms Used in High-Profile Shootings, 1963 to 2001
Date: September 9, 1999
Location: Near Laurel, Maryland
Alleged Shooter: Richard Wayne Spicknall, II
People Killed: Two
People Injured: None
Firearm(s): Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol
Spicknall, who was embroiled in a divorce with his wife, took his two children out for a drive, telling friends that he was taking them on vacation. Soon after, he shot his son and daughter, then told police that he had been the victim of a carjacking. He later confessed to the killings.
The firearm was illegal. Spicknall was able to buy the handgun even though his wife had obtained a restraining order against him. The pistol was purchased from a pawn shop in College Park, Maryland, on September 2, 1999. Under federal law, anyone who has a domestic violence restraining order is prohibited from possessing firearms. However, because of a backlog in the Maryland police computer system, Spicknall's name did not come up during a background check.
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.