POLITICS

Shop Owner Who Sold Orlando Massacre Weapon: 'I'm Just Sorry He Picked My Place'

The store owner described the gunman as an "evil person," but said he sold him firearms legally.

The owner of the Florida gun store where mass killer Omar Mateen purchased the weapons he used to kill 49 people and injure 53 at a popular gay club called the gunman an "evil person," but said he sold him firearms legally.

"He's a customer, he made a purchase, and it's horrible," Ed Henson, owner of the St. Lucie Shooting Center, told reporters Monday. "I'm just sorry he picked my place. I wish he picked no place."

Henson said the gunman separately purchased the two firearms -- a handgun and an AR-15-type assault rifle -- a week to 10 days prior to Sunday's massacre -- the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

During the short press conference, Henson said he wanted to avoid political issues. He said the shooter passed the same background check every other customer in Florida must pass, and urged everyone to pray for the victims.

"An evil person came in here and they legally purchased two firearms from us," Henson said. "And if he hadn't purchased them from us, I'm sure he would have gotten them from another local gun store in the area."

CORRECTION: A previous headline on this story said the gun shop is in Orlando. It is in Port St. Lucie.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Orlando Shooting Victims