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Elderly man shot by FBI for allegedly threatening Biden was Air Force veteran

FBI agents. (Melanie Rodgers Cox/US Air Force)
August 14, 2023

In the heart of Utah, 75-year-old Air Force veteran Craig Deleeuw Robertson’s life came to a tragic end when FBI agents shot him last Wednesday.

The incident stemmed from a series of online threats aimed at President Joe Biden, who was due to visit Salt Lake City, and other prominent figures, according to Stars and Stripes. Records shed light on the Air Force veteran’s history, giving deeper context to recent events.

Robertson, a Utah native, was confronted by FBI special agents at his Provo residence, approximately 40 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City.

The authorities were serving a warrant driven by alleged threats Robertson had posted on social media prior to Biden’s scheduled visit to a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital. This visit was planned in honor of the one-year anniversary of the PACT Act, an initiative aiming to broaden health benefits for veterans.

Delving deeper into the accusations, court documents highlight that Robertson faced three felony charges, including threats against the president and the FBI agents investigating him.

One post on Robertson’s Facebook from late 2022 read, “The time is right for a presidential assassination or two. First Joe then Kamala!”

READ MORE: FBI fatally shoots man who allegedly threatened Biden, report says

While the exact details of the encounter remain undisclosed, The Associated Press reported that Robertson was armed when FBI agents arrived that fateful morning.

Robertson’s military history further reveals his Air Force service beginning in February 1970. Although he only served four years, his tenure saw him reach the rank of airman first class. Positioned as a metalworker helper, Robertson was stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois, a facility closed in the 1990s.

Residents in Robertson’s neighborhood spoke out following the incident. Andrew Maunder, a nearby neighbor, told The Salt Lake Tribune, “He definitely had his political views, which he was very public about on Facebook. But I think deep down, he was just a cranky old guy who was harmless.”

Robertson’s family also released a statement, saying, “He was understandably frustrated and distraught by the present and on-going erosions to our constitutionally protected freedoms and the rights of free citizens wrought by what he, and many others in this nation, observed to be a corrupt and overreaching government.”

The family’s message emphasized Robertson’s belief in his First Amendment rights. While admitting his remarks on social platforms might have been “intemperate” at times, they steadfastly held that he wouldn’t resort to violence over disagreements.

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.