A church shooting in Birmingham, Alabama sent shockwaves across the country. Three churchgoers were killed in the heinous attack. However, the culprit, identified as Robert Findlay Smith, has been apprehended by authorities. So, who is he, and what was his motive for this attack?
Robert Findlay Smith: Who Is He?
The suspect in the recent mass shooting at an Alabama church at a Boomers Potluck meal is Robert Findlay Smith. Smith is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on counts of capital murder in the deaths of three people.
Robert is a Birmingham, Alabama native who was a regular member of the same church. He is a 70-year-old guns dealer who killed three people at Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Thursday by himself (June 17). He was revealed to be a federally licensed gun dealer who failed to keep track of a firearm he sold, putting him in hot water with police.
His family’s identity has yet to be revealed by the authorities. He is being held without bond at the moment. After an “on-site” compliance investigation at his Sicard Hollow Roadhouse in February 2018, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms sent Smith a warning letter, citing a joint investigation by The Trace and USA Today into how the ATF monitors gun sellers and manufacturers.
Smith, who operated under the name “Original Magazine 2,” was issued a warning after failing to report the sale or disposition of a firearm within seven days. Smith’s inventory showed 97 weapons, according to ATF documents, and he had “failed to record the deposition of…firearms,” according to the saif probe by two outlets.
Concerning the Motive for the Mass Shooting…
At Stephen’s Episcopal Church’s potluck supper, Robert Findlay Smith was sitting like any other participant when he abruptly drew out a revolver and started a fire on three elderly attendees. Walter Rainey (84) and Sarah Yeager (84) have been recognized as the two victims (75). The third victim, an 84-year-old White woman, was not named because her family asked for privacy.
Another participant, Jim Musgrove, was accused of subduing Smith and displaying bravery by holding him down until law enforcement arrived. Musgrove smacked him in the face with a chair, pushed him to the ground, and took the weapon from him.
Smith has been arrested and is being held in the Jefferson County Jail without bond. Capt. Shane Ware had earlier stated that a suspect had been apprehended, but only characterized him as a white male who occasionally attended services at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in the Vestavia Hills neighborhood of Birmingham. Robert Findlay Smith has already been confirmed as the shooter.
Jim Musgrove’s action to subdue this psychopath before he could kill further lives was praised by Ware. “The individual who restrained the suspect, in my opinion, is a hero,” he stated. The individual’s actions, he said, were “very essential in preserving lives.” The cause for the horrific shooting, however, has yet to be determined.
The shooting follows two other mass shootings, one on May 24 at Robb Elementary School, which resulted in 22 deaths and 18 injuries, and the other in June on South Street in Philadelphia, where three people were killed and at least 11 others were injured when “multiple active shooters” opened fire at a crowded intersection.
There have been more mass shootings in the United States than in any other country. After committing suicide, shooters are usually detained or killed by law enforcement officers or civilians. So far in 2023, the Gun Violence Archive has recorded 246 mass shootings in the United States. How many more heinous crimes must we witness before improvements are implemented?