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The FBI issued a press statement on Monday claiming that the 75-year-old Utah man — who was fatally shot and killed during a pre-dawn raid last Wednesday — pointed his firearm at federal agents while resisting arrest, thus leading to his death.
Craig Deleeuw Robertson of Provo, Utah, was shot last week during an FBI raid after the man allegedly made threatening social media posts against President Joe Biden and other elected officials. Robertson was facing three felony counts including interstate threats, threats against the president, and influencing, impeding, and retaliating against federal law enforcement officers by threat. Details of the incident have remained scarce and the FBI has not released any body camera footage, but PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Laura Barrón-López tweeted the following comment from the bureau:
“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 FBI said. “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.”
New FBI statement on Utah man who threatened President Biden, elected officials and law enforcement: Agents attempted to serve warrant/arrest 75-year-old Craig Robertson “Robertson resisted arrest & as agents attempted to take him into custody, he pointed a .357 revolver at them” pic.twitter.com/RS8AN4dMqp
— Laura Barrón-López (@lbarronlopez) August 14, 2023
Robertson, who was visited by the FBI this past March due to other alleged online comments about District Attorney Alvin Bragg, allegedly posted onto Facebook the following messages in the days preceding Biden’s trip to Utah last week.
“I hear Biden is coming to Utah,” Robertson allegedly wrote on social media on August 6, also allegedly writing that he was “cleaning the dust off his M24 sniper.”
On July 27, he allegedly wrote, “Hey FBI, you still monitoring my social media? Checking so I can be sure to have a loaded gun handy in case you drop by again.”
He also allegedly wrote on Facebook, “The time is right for a presidential assassination or two. First Joe then Kamala!!!”
Robertson’s neighbors described the man as non-violent and questioned why the FBI used such heavy-handed tactics against the overweight septuagenarian.
“If they were concerned his speech was going to turn into action, they could have waited to see if he was even going to leave his property that day,” neighbor Tim Rich told The Daily Wire. “I’d bet my life Craig would have dropped an ill-advised post or two, and nothing else ever would have happened.”
“At worst, they had 45 miles between Craig and the president, more than enough time to get better information as to his intent — beyond just his online words — before taking such forceful action,” he added.
For its part, the FBI told Barrón-López it would not be providing further comment during its review.
“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 FBl’s Inspection Division,” the statement read. “We have no further details to provide at this time.”
Robertson’s family issued a statement in part saying, “Though his statements were intemperate at times, he has never, and would never, commit any act of violence against another human being over a political or philosophical disagreement.”
“The Craig Robertson we knew was a kind and generous person who was always willing to assist another in need, even when advanced age, limited mobility, and other physical challenges made it more difficult and painful for him to do so,” the family added.
Leif Le Mahieu and Brent Scher contributed to this report.