The FBI is making the case that the disabled man who had posted threats to President Joe Biden and was subsequently killed by agents in a raid had actually pulled a gun during the incident.
On Aug. 14, the FBI stated that during an operation in Utah, the individual they attempted to arrest, Craig Robertson, had pointed a weapon at agents.
According to an email from FBI spokeswoman Sandra Barker, Craig Robertson “resisted arrest and as agents attempted to take him into custody, he pointed a .357 revolver at them.”
Despite this assertion, the agency hasn’t presented any corroborating evidence.
When questioned about photographic or video proof of Mr. Robertson’s alleged action, Ms. Barker refrained from commenting.
Although Mr. Robertson was pronounced dead at the scene, his family did not provide a comment when asked. In a previous statement, the family described him as “a kind and generous person” with “limited mobility.”
While they acknowledged his threats against President Joe Biden and other figures, they emphasized his use of First Amendment rights, believing he “would never commit any act of violence against another human being over a political or philosophical disagreement.”
It remains unclear if Mr. Robertson ever discharged his firearm.
On Aug. 9, around 20 officers and agents approached Robertson’s residence in Provo, Utah, with arrest and search warrants.
These actions were driven by social media posts tied to Mr. Robertson, suggesting he planned to target President Biden during his Salt Lake City visit, and intentions to harm New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
One post, found in court documents and a since-deleted Facebook page, read: “I hear Biden is coming to Utah. Digging out my old ghillie suit and cleaning the dust off the M24 sniper rifle. Welcome, buffoon-in-chief!” Another post aimed at Mr. Bragg stated, “I’ll be waiting in the courthouse parking garage with my suppressed Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm to smoke a radical fool prosecutor that should never have been elected.”
Earlier this year, FBI agents approached Mr. Robertson, who instructed them to return with a warrant. He later mentioned this encounter online, saying: “To my friends in the Federal Bureau of Idiots: I know you’re reading this and you have no idea how close your agents came to ‘violent eradication.’”
His social media also showcased support for former President Donald Trump, displayed tactical equipment, and boasted an expansive firearm collection. Neighbors estimated he owned about 20 guns.
The incident escalated when Robertson reportedly aimed a firearm at law enforcement, prompting what witnesses called a “hail of bullets” at his Provo home.
During the warrant execution before sunrise, officers employed flash bangs to get Robertson to leave his house.
When he refused, alleging innocence, gunshots ensued around 6:15 a.m. local time, as per Jon Michael Ossola, a witnessing neighbor.
Subsequent local accounts state that Robertson was pulled out of his home, where he succumbed to his injuries on the sidewalk, concealed beneath a sheet.
People in the neighborhood characterized him as a “decent guy” who took care of his visually impaired son and was the “type to sleep with a gun under his pillow.”
Travis Clark, a resident of Robertson’s street, expressed his disbelief to the Deseret News, saying, “I just can’t believe that this man warranted that kind of response.” Another local resident highlighted Robertson’s softer side, portraying him as a “teddy bear” and acknowledging his skills in woodworking.
Here is a photo of Craig Robertson in Provo, a carpenter, who had recently organized a group of volunteers to build a ramp for a disabled neighbor pic.twitter.com/1Phs0OM9jG
— Twisted Eagle (@twisted_eagle) August 11, 2023
Another neighbor, Katie Monson, recounted to The Associated Press how agents unsuccessfully tried to breach Mr. Robertson’s door with a battering ram, then used a tactical vehicle. After hearing shots, she saw officers pulling Robertson outside.
Witnesses observed medical staff attending to Robertson, but he appeared deceased already. His grieving family expressed their “shock and devastation.”
Addressing the incident, the FBI pledged a thorough examination. As Ms. Barker expressed, “The FBI takes all shooting incidents involving our agents or task force officers seriously. In accordance with FBI policy, the shooting incident is under review by the FBI’s Inspection Division. We have no further details to provide at this time.”
Although the Provo Police Department was seen post-shooting, they clarified their non-involvement: “Yesterday the Provo Police Department became aware that the FBI intended to serve a federal arrest warrant in Provo this morning,” the department stated.
“After the agent-involved shooting happened this morning, our involvement has been limited to supporting the FBI while they conduct a continuing investigation. We look forward to learning more about what happened.”
The federal charges against Mr. Robertson had included threats against the president.