How One Stolen “Community Gun” Was Linked To Many RI Shootings, Deaths


During a span of at least five months in 2012, one 9mm Glock 17 was in the hands of teenage boys and young men who passed it around and used it to wreak havoc throughout Providence, the Providence Journal reports. One man nearly died in what a prosecutor described as “nothing more than a game of human blood-sport.” The gun was linked to the murder of a man shot while he was out for an afternoon walk, two a triple murder, and to at least two other shootings.

The Glock was purchased legally by a 57-year-old veteran, who said it was taken from his house and he never reported it stolen. The gun ended up on the street. It’s not known how many people used the gun before it was seized. What made this particular gun so dangerous was that it was a “community gun,” shared by a loose group of people. As the police arrested one suspected shooter after another, the gun remained accessible to others. The people who handled this gun included a 26-year-old man and two 16-year-old boys with criminal records. There is no way to tally the devastation wrought by this gun. As a prosecutor remarked when one of the teenagers was sentenced to four life sentences for murdering three people: “Who knows what untold stories that gun holds?”

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