Sunday, August 14, 1977

Berkowitz Purchased Semiautomatic Rifle In Brooklyn in 1976

David Berkowitz bought a .45 caliber semiautomatic rifle (Commando Mark III) that the police say he planned to use in an attack on a Long Island discotheque and a final suicide shootout in an apparently legal purchase from a small gun shop in Brooklyn on Jan. 26, 1976.

The weapon was taken from his car the night he was arrested. Berkowitz told police he was planning to strike against a disco in the Hamptons that evening and would then shoot it out with pursuing officers. “I wanted to get killed. But I wanted to take some cops with me.”

In purchasing the weapon, she said, Mr. Berkowitz had filled out city and federal forms testifying that “he was not a junkie, not a nut, a mental case and that he had not been dishonorably discharged.”

Mrs. Rutuelo said she had been told that a Commando stolen from her shop had been used in the robbery of a bank and a subway token booth. “I try to avoid a sale if I think they’re a ding-a-ling.”

Excerpt from Joseph Treaster Aug 14, 1977 New York Times

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