Las Vegas gun store manager shocked by manhunt for customer

It has been several months since Henderson gun store manager Tony Melendez last saw the former Los Angeles police officer at the center of an intense manhunt Thursday.

Christopher Jordan Dorner is wanted by California authorities in connection with the killing of three people, one of whom was a police officer.

Melendez last saw Dorner about five months ago in his store, Lock N Load Gun Store, 9340 S. Eastern Ave., and he came off as "pleasant," Melendez said during a phone interview Thursday afternoon.

"He didn't exhibit anything personality wise as to what he has exhibited in the last few days," Melendez said. "We're all kind of shocked right here, those of us who have interacted with him."

Melendez said he wasn't at liberty to disclose Dorner's purchases.

He emphasized that store employees are allowed to refuse business to anyone based on their discretion.

Dorner would come into the store every few months and purchase items. He left an impression because he looked like "your college linebacker," Melendez said.

In his manifesto, Dorner criticized Lock N Load for selling him weapons he shouldn't have been able to obtain.

"Unfortunately, are you aware that I obtained class III weapons (suppressors) without a background check thru NICS or DROS completely LEGALLY several times? I was able to use a trust account that I created on quicken will maker and a $10 notary charge at a mailbox etc. to obtain them legally. Granted, I am not a felon, nor have a DV misdemeanor conviction or active TRO against me on a NCIC file. I can buy any firearm I want, but should I be able to purchase these class III weapons (SBR's, and suppressors) without a background check and just a $10 notary signature on a quicken will maker program? The answer is NO. I'm not even a resident of the state i purchased them in. Lock n Load just wanted money so they allow you to purchase class III weapons with just a notarized trust, military ID. Shame on you, Lock n Load."

Melendez said Dorner's allegation is false. He said the type of weapons Dorner mentioned in his manifesto require months of background checks through federal officials.

Dorner sounded like he broke laws to obtain false documentation to buy the weapons mentioned in his manifesto, Melendez said.

"If he's saying what he's saying, then he would have to be lying somewhere," Melendez said. "That's a federal offense at this point," Melendez said.

Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@review journal.com or 702-383-4638.