The Dallas shooter bought a gun on Facebook

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New details emerge on Dallas shooter

Micah Johnson, who killed five police officers in downtown Dallas last week, bought an AK-47 over Facebook in 2014, says the man who sold him the weapon.

Johnson purchased the semi-automatic weapon for $600 from Colton Crews, who gave his account of the transaction to the New York Daily News. Crews said he desperately hopes his gun wasn't used in last Thursday's shooting.

For now, it appears that it wasn't: Quoting unnamed sources, NBC News reported that Johnson used two pistols and a Saiga AK-74 in the Dallas attack—both different weapons than the one Crews sold him.

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Dallas shooting victims, memorials and aftermath
Brent Thompson, of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, one of five officers killed in a shooting incident in Dallas, Texas, U.S., is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters July 8, 2016. Brent Thompson via LinkedIn/Handout via Reuters
This is Brent Thompson with his grandson. He's the first DART officer killed in the line of duty. https://t.co/XQuoF8xnCZ
Love you brother. Couldn't be prouder. We'll see you again. #PrayForDallas https://t.co/1oqeBxai7x
AP identifies Officer Patrick Zamarripa was one of the slain Dallas police officers... https://t.co/QxX4gHxfHu https://t.co/eZFlsm6KXX
Chicago Police Sgt. Charmane Kielbasa places a note of support on the bronze medallion at The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. Five law enforcement officers were killed in Dallas on Thursday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Emergency responder vehicles sit outside of the emergency room at Baylor University Medical Center, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Investigators leave the home of Micah Xavier Johnson in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Texas, Friday, July 8, 2016. A Texas law enforcement official identified Johnson, 25, as the sniper who opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Noelle Hendrix places flowers near the scene of a shooting in downtown Dallas, Friday, July 8, 2016. Snipers opened fire on police officers in the heart of Dallas during protests over two recent fatal police shootings of black men. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Five red roses, a bouquet of flowers and a note of support for the Dallas Police Department lies on the bronze medallion at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. Five officers were killed in Dallas on Thursday. (AP Photo/Paul Holston)
Five red roses are seen on the bronze medallion at The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. Five law enforcement officers were killed in Dallas on Thursday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
FBI investigators look over the crime scene in Dallas, Texas, U.S. July 8, 2016 following a Thursday night shooting incident that killed five police officers. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
WASHINGTON, USA - JULY 8: The American Flags surrounding the base of the Washington Monument, with the US Capitol in the distance, are flying at half staff after President Obama ordered them to be lowered in honor of the five Police Officers killed by a gunman in Dallas the night before in Washington, USA on July 8, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil at the Cathedral Santuario De Guadalupe for the victims of Dallas shooting in Dallas, United States on July 8, 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil at the Cathedral Santuario De Guadalupe for the victims of Dallas shooting in Dallas, United States on July 8, 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - JULY 8 : People attend a vigil outside Dallas Police headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, 08 July 2016. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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But the incident serves as yet another example of how easy it can be for a dangerous person to obtain a deadly weapon, particularly in a state like Texas that doesn't require background checks for private gun sales. That said, Johnson had no criminal record or known psychiatric issues, so would have passed a background check anyway.

Crews told the Daily News he thought Johnson was "on the up and up" and "just a normal guy." He now says he's no longer interested in guns, and backed out of a deal last weekend to buy one, saying he "feel[s] partially responsible" for what happened in Dallas.

The transaction between Johnson and Crews took place about 19 months ago, the Daily News reported. That was well before Facebook banned gun and ammunition sales on the platform—a rule that is easily and constantly being broken despite some Facebook users' best attempts to report such sales. Mike Monteiro recently wrote on BoingBoing that he and the "small army" he helped organize on Twitter have reported gun ads to Facebook, getting about 3,000 of them removed (but reporting, he estimates, about five times that many). His posts showing the ads he was trying to get removed then got him temporarily banned from Facebook for "violating community standards." He says he has never received additional information as to what he did to violate Facebook's rules, and is currently serving a month-long ban.

While gun sales are technically prohibited on Facebook, contests giving them away are not, as long as they follow Facebook's general contest rules.

The post The Dallas Shooter Bought A Gun On Facebook appeared first on Vocativ.


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