The St. Louis Post-Dispatch investigates how mass murderer James Holmes managed to accumulate an arsenal of more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition before he killed 12 and wounded 58 at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater last July. The answer appeared to be an online company in St. Louis, a detail widely reported one year ago. But recently released search warrants and additional reporting have shed new light on the path traveled by those thousands of rounds.
The trail leads to Knoxville, Tenn., and on to Atlanta, to a secretive 4-year-old company considered to be among the nation's top online ammunition dealers. Its founders — a pair of former real estate developers — sell bullets using far-flung P.O. boxes, different corporate identities and online marketing tactics that have offended even some firearm enthusiasts. The paper says the story of the transaction is a journey into the divisive debate over gun violence, about how guns and ammo flow through the nation and the companies that profit along the way.