Cops: Santa Monica Gunman Assembled Own Weapon

Zawahri appears to have built his AR-15 to dodge gun laws
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2013 1:47 PM CDT
Cops: Santa Monica Gunman Assembled Own Weapon
This undated photo provided on Sunday, June 9, 2013, by the Santa Monica Police Department shows John Zawahri, 23, who police have identified as the shooter in Friday's deadly rampage at Santa Monica College. The suspect was shot and killed by authorities Friday after a violent spree that claimed the...   (AP Photo/Santa Monica Police Department)

(Newser) – The Santa Monica gunman who killed five people last week appears to have assembled his own weapon—possibly in his bedroom—to skirt gun laws, reports the Los Angeles Times and AP. That would help explain the drill press authorities found in John Zawahri's room. In essence, Zawahri may have bought his AR-15 piece by piece, then combined the components into a weapon that would have been illegal to buy in California.

Taking apart a legal AR-15 and rebuilding it to custom specs is common, experts tell the Times, but detachable magazines, which allow for sustained shooting, are banned. Zawahri fired about 100 rounds from the AR-15—the same gun used in the Sandy Hook and Aurora shootings—and a .44-caliber handgun in the rampage around Santa Monica that ended at a college campus where Zawahri—who had a troubled past—was shot and killed. (Read more Santa Monica stories.)

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