According to Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson, the .40-caliber pistol had originally been purchased from a store in Douglasville, Ga.
The owner of the gun had been visiting his mother in Anniston when it was stolen from his vehicle, said Matthew Wade, chief deputy with the Sheriff’s Office. According to Amerson, the owner reported the theft to Anniston police on July 3, 2011.
Authorities say the same gun was used in a shooting in Hobson City on Jan. 8. According to Sheriff’s Office officials, Johnny Austin Evans, 34, of Hobson City, shot his girlfriend, Tuy Kim Truong, 22, once in the head and once in the neck before shooting himself at his Council Avenue home.
Local officials had asked the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace the gun’s history. Wade said the owner was not able to give police a serial number for the gun, which made it hard to trace.
Amerson said Monday that investigators are still trying to figure out how Evans got the gun.
Evans was convicted of manslaughter in 1998 in connection with the 1996 shooting death of Christopher Jackson. According to state law, anyone convicted of a violent crime is prohibited from owning a handgun.
Wade and Michael Knight, an ATF spokesman, previously told The Star that convicted felons who obtain guns usually do so in one of three ways: stealing them, purchasing them in an illegal sale or asking someone without a criminal record to buy for them.
A 2013 ATF study reported that 5,989 firearms were reported stolen to Alabama law enforcement officials in 2012.
“I’d say most guns used in crimes are illegally obtained guns,” Wade said.
Amerson said now that investigators know the gun was stolen, they will continue interviewing people to find out how Evans got it. The sheriff expects a difficult road ahead.
“Since it is stolen, we typically don’t get a lot of help with that,” Amerson said.
Staff writer Madasyn Czebiniak: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @MCzebiniak_Star.