- Joseph Anthony Abreu is wanted in Texas after he threatened to provoke a massacre
- Abreu told an armory clerk that he needed the gun to “kill… eight people.”
- The employee refused to sell the gun to the young man, who remains a fugitive
Joseph Anthony Abreu is wanted in Houston, Texas because he tried to buy a gun and expressed his desire to commit a massacre. The Houston Police Department (HPD) needs the help of the community to stop the man before he kills someone, since Abreu has a long criminal record.
According to the arrest warrant against Joseph Anthony Abreu, 32, the man arrived at the Academy Sports & Outdoors store in the northwest of the Houston metropolitan area on Friday, April 16, 2021, at 11:00 in the morning, and told the store clerk that he needed a handgun.
Joseph Anthony Abreu wanted to buy a gun for a massacre
Abreu told the employee, a Hispanic boy whose name will not be released for his safety, that his budget was about $ 200 to $ 250 and that he needed a good gun at that price. The clerk showed Joseph Anthony Abreu several guns in roughly that budget range, but none convinced him to buy them.
Then Abreu told him that perhaps something more expensive could convince him and asked the clerk to show him higher-priced weapons. Little by little, the armory clerk showed him more weapons, until a pistol that cost $ 399 caught his attention. “I’m taking this one!” Abreu said excitedly when he found the Walther .9-millimeter pistol.
He also wanted to buy the ammunition
After Joseph Anthony made his selection, the store clerk asked him if he needed ammunition, bullet magazines, to which the potential buyer asked him to please also include the corresponding magazines for the pistol he had to carry.
Joseph Anthony then gave him his driver’s license, so that the armory salesman could do all the processing that is needed in Texas when buying a gun legally. When a gun is sold, the clerks inform the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from its sale.
“Eight rounds of bullets … to kill eight people today”
The clerks should put in the transaction record the name of the buyer, his address, the type of firearm they are carrying, the ammunition they buy and in a box the reason why they are buying the firearm. That’s when the Joseph Anthony story took a dramatic turn, alarming the armory clerk.
The employee asked him, as part of the protocol, if the pistol magazines needed six or eight rounds each. Then Abreu replied to the employee, “The eight-year-old is fine … I have eight rounds of bullets to kill eight people today.” Alarmed, the clerk told the alleged buyer that he could not sell the gun to him just because of that comment.
Joseph Anthony Abreu arrived accompanied by another person
According to the testimony of the store employee, Joseph Anthony at the time of trying to buy the weapon was accompanied by another person, it is not specified whether a man or a woman, who also asked constant questions about the quality of the pistols and if the weapon they bought would come. with the bullet magazines.
That person who accompanied Abreu has not been identified so far by the authorities. By then, the driver’s license that Abreu issued to buy the gun was already in the store’s registry. In Texas, people with a criminal record, who have been convicted, are the only ones who do not have the right to buy legal weapons.
The clerk refuses to sell you the gun
When the store clerk heard what Joseph Anthony was planning to do with the .9-millimeter Walther pistol he was planning to buy, he refused to sell it to him. He told him that just for that comment he would not sell him the gun. The potential buyer angrily demanded to speak to the store manager to complain.
However, when the manager heard the version of his employee and Abreu’s demand, he backed the boy from the armory and confirmed to the client that they were not going to sell him the gun. The boy returned his driver’s license and told him that the information was already in the ATF and the store’s system anyway to avoid another gun purchase.
Joseph Anthony Abreu and his long criminal record
Joseph Anthony, according to the store clerk’s testimony, then became upset and became nervous, anxious, and very irritated. In the store’s computerized system they had already filled out form ATF-4473, which is what the federal authorities’ national registry of arms purchases and sales is called.
After Abreu had his license with him again and heard that the gun would not be sold to him, the man and his companion left the store very upset. Just moments later, the alarms went off because ATF informed employees that Joseph Anthony Abreu had a long criminal history and was unable to purchase weapons.
The police are already looking for him
When the armory employees at the Academy Sports & Outdoors saw that the ATF was not authorizing the sale, as the potential buyer had a long criminal history, they called HPD to report the case after the man had left the premises. However, his visit was recorded in the videos of the security cameras of the business.
An HPD patrolman took all the details of the case and the investigation was then turned over to the Harris County Attorney’s Office that, based on the employee’s testimony and ATF records, an arrest warrant was issued for Abreu for being the alleged perpetrator of the crime of attempting to buy a weapon, despite having a criminal record.
Authorities need help to stop him
All the details of the case against Joseph Anthony are consigned before Judge Nikita V. Harmon, of the 176th Criminal District Court in Harris County. As of this writing, Joseph Anthony Abreu has not been detained despite being searched by several HPD detectives.
If you know the true whereabouts of Abreu, you can report it to the non-profit organization Houston Crime Stoppers, by calling 713.222.8477. The person who offers the clue leading to his arrest could receive a reward of up to $ 5,000. All tracks will be kept anonymous.
Abreu and his prostitution charges
In Harris County criminal records, accessed by MundoHispánico, it is detailed that Joseph Anthony Abreu despite his age is a habitual criminal. Since 2009, the boy has already been arrested at least 20 times for various crimes ranging from prostitution, drug possession and trespassing on private property.
The first time Abreu was arrested occurred in 2009, when the boy offered an undercover HPD officer from the Vice Division to give him a blow job after exchanging a certain amount of money. Since then the boy has been arrested three more times for the same crime.
Two massacres in less than a month in Texas
According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) A mass shooting, such as the one Abreu allegedly intended to carry out, is classified as such when at least four people are injured or killed. When an attack gets that classification, federal authorities intervene.
In Texas, at least two shootings that were classified as massive have been witnessed in the past month. The first was on Thursday, April 8, 2021, in the town of Bryan, when Larry Bollin unloaded a gun at a kitchen cabinet factory. The second was on Sunday, April 18, when former police officer Stephen Broderick killed his ex-wife, daughter and son-in-law in Austin.
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