By Amy Mek - RairFoundation.com
In a startling turn of events, 75-year-old Craig Deleeuw Robertson, described as an elderly Utah resident, was fatally shot during an early morning FBI raid on Wednesday. Weighing around 300 lbs and grappling with substantial health obstacles that hindered his mobility, Robertson became the unfortunate victim.
The FBI swiftly confirmed the incident, revealing that specialized agents were executing arrest and search warrants at a Provo residence, with the deadly shooting occurring at approximately 6:15 am. The primary focus of this operation revolved around investigating online threats, particularly those aimed at Joe Biden and other prominent figures. Despite Robertson's apparent disabilities, the FBI classified these online threats as 'credible.'
This classification gains notable significance compared to previous cases where symbolic threats were not met with lethal force. Notably, incidents involving Kathy Griffin's controversial photograph holding a decapitated head resembling President Trump, and a 2017 Shakespeare in the Park production depicting a staged stabbing of a look-alike of President Trump, did not result in FBI raids and fatal outcomes.
Robertson allegedly wrote in a post displaying bold black letters on a pink and purple swirly background, "I hear Biden is coming to Utah. Digging out my old Ghillie suit and cleaning the dust off the M24 sniper rifle."
In March, he reportedly targeted New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg, overseeing the criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump. In a post, he declared, "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."
While conducting surveillance on Robertson's home on March 19, a special agent attempted to speak with Robertson about his posts, according to Fox13. Robertson replied, 'I said it was a dream!' and told the agent to return with a warrant.
FBI officials have maintained a veil of secrecy around the exact circumstances that led to the tragic shooting. However, they have assured that a comprehensive incident review is underway within the department's Inspection Division. Offering a glimpse into Robertson's character and life circumstances, Travis Lee Clark, who personally knew and served as the church's secretary, shared insights.
"Essentially, he was nearly 80 years old, weighed 300 lbs, and battled significant health constraints that rendered him reliant on a cane and limited his mobility. He even resorted to driving a short distance to church to avoid walking. He cared for his disabled, blind adult son until recently, showcasing his compassionate nature. A cheerful presence, he was known for quick jokes and smiles, serving as our financial clerk for nearly a decade," Clark recounted.
"A widower since some time ago, Robertson was an active attendee of the Pioneer 2nd Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Provo, Utah," Clark added.
"Contrary to any perception of him as a credible threat, he was a frail elderly man who vented his frustrations on social media. A good-hearted individual who cherished woodworking and gun collecting, he dedicated himself to his disabled adult son until only a few weeks prior," Clark emphasized.
Another man who characterized himself as a friend of Robertson for over four decades conveyed his profound shock over the unfolding events to FOX 13 News.
"He was the type of person who would go to great lengths to assist anyone. He possessed an incredible nature. Firm in his faith and brimming with love, he radiated warmth. Our bond has been that of brothers for many years," Steve Terry shared with FOX 13 News.
Terry expressed disbelief at the tragic turn of events. "The things that have been circulating about him in the media are not correct. Craig would do anything to help people," he said.
As the investigation continues, the community grapples with the sudden loss of a man cherished for his warmth, devotion to his son, and contributions to the church.