The government has charged a Mesa man who sold ammunition to the man who carried out the Las Vegas massacre with conspiracy to manufacture and sell armor-piercing bullets without a license.
In September, 55-year-old Douglas Haig sold more than 700 rounds of ammunition to Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock after meeting Paddock at a gun show. An engineer with Honeywell, Haig said he sold ammunition as a "hobby."
Haig said he had received death threats after he was revealed as the seller. He said people have pounded on his door to tell him that he deserves to die. "It makes me feel horrible," he said at a news conference Friday morning. "People need to do their research and think rather than just react viscerally.”
Then came the federal charges.
According to the complaint filed in federal court in Phoenix, Haig operated an internet ammunition business called Specialized Military Ammunition. Haig advertised armor-piercing incendiary ammunition on his website, which now says the business is "closed indefinitely."
During an October 19 search of Haig's home in Mesa, agents seized live ammunition that they identified as armor-piercing. While the agents were in his backyard, Haig explained that he uses reloading equipment — tools used to manufacture ammunition from other parts, including previously fired cases.
The agents later matched markings characteristic of Haig's tools to two unfired armor-piercing cartridges found bearing Haig's fingerprints in Paddock's Las Vegas hotel room.
From the complaint: "Significantly, forensic analysis determined that the two unfired armor piercing cartridges from Paddock's Mandalay Bay hotel room (bearing Douglas Haig's fingerprints) had toolmarks consistent with the reloading equipment recovered in Haig's backyard workshop during the October 19, 2017 search."
Haig did not have a license to manufacture these rounds, the complaint states. Individuals and entities as far as Texas, Virginia, Wyoming, and South Carolina purchased Haig's armor-piercing bullets from his website and at gun shows, according to the feds.
When reached via email on Friday afternoon, Haig's attorney Marc J. Victor declined to comment.
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At Friday's news conference, Haig denied any involvement with the mass shooting at the Las Vegas outdoor concert aside from selling Paddock the rounds of tracer ammunition, which glow when fired. Haig's attorney said at the news conference that his client's sale of ammunition was legal.
“I had no contribution to what Paddock did,” Haig said. “I had no way to see into his mind. The product that I sold him had absolutely nothing to do with what he did.”