FBI says Provo man pulled a gun on them before being killed

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Firefighters laid flowers outside of Craig Deleeuw Robertson’s home on Thurs. Aug. 10 in Provo, Utah. Robertson was killed by FBI agents on Wednesday, Aug. 9 as agents attempted to bring Robertson into custody. (Associated Press)

The FBI said Provo resident Craig DeLeeuw Robertson pointed a gun at them before being shot and killed on Wednesday, Aug. 9.

Robertson pointed a .357 revolver at FBI agents, according to court documents. The incident occurred around 6:15 a.m. — hours before President Biden arrived in Salt Lake City, according to FBI statements.

FBI agents approached Robertson with an arrest warrant for three felony counts, including threats against the president and other government officials.

The FBI released the following updated public statement on Monday Aug. 14:

“The FBI continues to review an agent-involved shooting which occurred around 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 in Provo, Utah. The incident began when special agents attempted to serve arrest and search warrants on 75-year-old Craig Deeleuw Robertson at his home for threats to elected officials and law enforcement officers. Robertson resisted arrest and as agents attempted to take him into custody he pointed a .357 revolver at them. 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.”

Sandra Barker, FBI Spokesperson

“Robertson resisted arrest and as agents attempted to take him into custody, he pointed a .357 revolver at them,” FBI spokesperson Sandra Barker said in a statement Monday, Aug. 14.

Robertson, 75, was an Air Force Veteran and active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Robertson was active on social media, posting threats against and statements about taking the life of New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who announced former President Trump’s first indictment in New York; FBI agents looking into and speaking to Robertson about his threats; and President Biden, who visited Utah Aug. 9-10.

Earliest threats included in the released felony complaint documents from September 2022; among his September posts Robertson posted “Death to Joe Biden” and a call for a presidential assassination. Robertson posted multiple images of firearms with threatening messages.

Around three days prior to the president’s arrival in Utah, Robertson posted on Facebook, “I hear Biden is coming to Utah. Digging out my old ghillie suit and cleaning the dust off the M24 sniper rife. Welcome, Buffoon-in-Chief.”

Along with his death threat, Robertson posted images of him in his ghillie suit, which is a type of camouflage clothing.

On Aug. 9 the Provo police issued a media release reporting the Provo police “did not contribute any personnel to the team that went to the house to serve that warrant.” The police department supported the FBI in their ongoing investigation.

Robertson’s family released an official public statement on Facebook regarding his death.

“We, the family of Craig Deeluew Robertson, are shocked and devastated by the senseless and tragic killing of our beloved father and brother, and we fervently mourn the loss of a good and decent man,” the statement said.

The family said they “hold no animosity” to any individuals involved in the incident. They described Robertson as a kind and caring person, and didn’t believe he would ever harm another individual.

“He (Robertson) was understandably frustrated and distraught by the present and on-going erosions to our constitutionally protected freedoms and the rights of free citizens … As an elderly–and largely homebound–man, there was very little he could do but exercise his First Amendment right to free speech and voice his protest,” the statement said.

In both statements made by the FBI on Aug. 9 and Aug. 14 they stated, “The FBI takes all shooting incidents involving our agents or task force members seriously.”

Paul Searing, a follower of Robertson online and businessman who lived in Provo before moving to Orem, said he warned Robertson that he was crossing a line in his rhetoric.

“He believed in his right to bear arms. He believed in his right to say what he feels,” Searing told reporters with the Associated Press. “When it came down to it, he knew the Lord wouldn’t have approved of killing innocent people. Things got out of hand because he just was really frustrated.”

Family and friends of Robertson asked the media and general public for privacy while they grieve and “come to terms with the sad tragedy of these events.”

The FBI released the following public statement on Wednesday, Aug. 9 following the incident:

“The FBI is reviewing an agent-involved shooting which The FBI is reviewing an agent-involved shooting which occurred around 6:15 a.m. on Wednesday, August 9, 2023 in Provo, Utah. The incident began when special agents attempted to serve arrest and search warrants at a residence. The subject is deceased. The FBI takes all shooting incidents involving our agents or task force members seriously. In accordance with FBI policy, the shooting incident is under review by the FBI’s Inspection Division. As this is an ongoing matter, we have no further details to provide”

Sandra Barker, FBI Spokesperson

The shooting is still under review by the FBI’s Inspection Division, and Biden left Utah on Aug. 10 without incident.

The following pdf is the complete redacted felony complaint against Robertson, filed in the United States District Court District of Utah.

223mj722-Robertson_Complaint_FINAL-v.1_Redacted-updated

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