ATF urgently attempting to trace AR-15 style rifle used in police-involved shooting

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 18:36:23-04

While the suspect Dayten Harper turned on police and fired several rounds that could have easily pierced their body armor, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis doesn't believe it was an ambush like we saw in Dallas.

Davis’ four officers were drawn in by gunfire, then shot at with a weapon and ammunition that he says should cause significant pause.

"Guns like this, ammunition like that certainly concerns all of us...and it should," the commissioner said.

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In this afternoon’s news conference the commissioner said they were tracing this AR-15 style rifle but were not there yet, but if not, they will be soon.

"This is going to rise to the level of an urgent trace simply because officers were shot at and we are gonna wanna find out exactly where that firearm came from," said ATF Special Agent Dave Cheplak.

Cheplak says an urgent trace can take anywhere from two to 24 hours.

See also: Suspect in officer-involved shooting "well known" to Baltimore Police, commissioner says

Armed with a serial number, make and model, the bureau can trace where the firearm came from; an important piece of this puzzle.

But some guns don’t have those markings.

Either they were obliterated or the weapon was built at home and in that case, the evidence recovered last night becomes all the more important.

"They are going to look at shell casings that came out of the gun that they encountered last night and compare those to any other shell casings found not only throughout the city but throughout the entire United States," Cheplak said.

Possibly more dots to connect to see if this high powered weapon has a story of its own to tell, one the ATF is working urgently to help Baltimore police figure out.

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