Gun Dealer Linked to Mass Shootings Shuts Down
Cops probing reports from scores of stiffed customers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2012 1:25 AM CDT
Eric Thompson’s Green Bay-based company TGSCOM closed down abruptly last month, police say.    (AP Photo/John Touscany, File)
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(Newser) – The online dealer who sold a handgun used in the Virginia Tech massacre and supplied equipment to two other mass shooters has shut down—not from a change of heart about his line of work, but because of scores of complaints from customers, reports AP. Eric Thompson's Wisconsin-based business, TGSCOM, closed abruptly last month as police investigated complaints from 44 states. The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau says nearly 200 customers have complained about being charged for goods they never received.

Thompson defended his sales to mass killers, saying they could just have easily bought guns at Walmart, and he wasn't "some backwoods guy just looking to make a buck off of tragedy." He visited Virginia Tech a year after the massacre to argue in favor of allowing students to carry concealed weapons. After it emerged that he had sold ammo to the man who killed five people at Northern Illinois University in 2008, Thompson said he was "blown away by the coincidences." He also sold equipment to a man who killed three women at a Pittsburgh health club in 2009.