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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 26, 2000

Location: Edgewater Technology office, Wakefield, Massachusetts

Alleged Shooter: Michael McDermott

People Killed: Seven

People Injured: None

Firearm(s): AK-47 assault rifle, 12-gauge pump-action shotgun and a .32 pistol


McDermott allegedly brought his weapons and ammunition to the empty Edgewater Technology office on Christmas Day and retrieved them the next day, killing seven of his co-workers. McDermott allegedly fired 49 shots from the AK-47 and six from the shotgun, stopping the killing only when he ran out of ammunition. Police arrived and discovered McDermott sitting in the reception area holding the guns used in the shooting as well as a loaded .32 pistol. Investigators believe that McDermott was motivated by his anger that his wages were to be garnished to collect back taxes that he owed to the IRS.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

Despite a history of mental instability including a suicide attempt in 1987, McDermott received a gun permit from the Rockland, Massachusetts, police in 1989. Investigators believe he legally purchased the weapons used in the shooting before letting his permit expire in 1998.


  1. Karen E. Crummy, "Pol Rips Gun Loophole; Wants Tighter Security in Permits for Mentally Ill," Boston Herald, 8 January 2001, p. 5.
  2. "Shooting Suspect Showed Hints of Mental Stress," Associated Press, 13 January 2001.
  3. Jay Lindsay, "Judge Orders Release of Documents in Wakefield Office Shooting," Associated Press, 22 February 2001.
  4. Carey Goldberg, "7 Die in Rampage at Company; Co-Worker of Victims Arrested," New York Times, 27 December 2000, sec. A, p. 1.
  5. Greg Sukiennik, "Office Massacre Suspect Indicted," Associated Press, 16 February 2001.
  6. Dave Wedge, "Indicted; �Mucko' Fired 30 Shots in Fatal Rampage," Boston Herald, 16 February 2001, p. 1.
  7. Douglas Belkin, "Worker Indicted in Office Killings; Suspect Allegedly Stored Guns by Desk," Boston Globe, 16 February 2001, sec. B, p. 1.

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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.