The 21-year-old man accused of stabbing his doctor to death on Wednesday tried buying a gun less than a week earlier, according to the owner of Bullseye Shooting Range.
Mike Relihan said Friday that his employees had a bad feeling about Umar Dutt’s reasoning for buying a firearm when he walked into the store last Saturday.
“He said he wanted it for personal protection, but what he was buying wasn’t suitable for that,” Relihan said. “He really just wanted something cheap.”
The sellers were initially afraid Dutt was planning to take his own life. He appeared nervous during the transaction, Relihan said.
“Both of my guys were rather suspicious, and we train on looking out for those signs,” he said.
The employees filled out Dutt’s background check and sent it to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for approval — but the agency put a hold on the application.
“We had already decided at that point that we wouldn’t allow him to leave with a gun,” Relihan said.
In order to purchase a firearm, a background check has to come back from the ATF first. Relihan guessed that about 90 percent immediately get approved.
“Then there’s a percentage of folks that get delayed,” he said. “We don’t know why. (The ATF) doesn’t tell us.”
But reasons for a delay can range from traffic warrants, to a prior criminal history or game warden fines, he said.
If an application is delayed, Relihan said they usually get an answer back in just a few business days.
“It’s now Friday and we haven’t heard anything back from them,” Relihan said. “So we don’t know where we’re at with that.”
In cases where Relihan or his employees are suspicious about purchasers, they post fliers on their walls to warn employees working other shifts and call around to other gun shops to warn those owners.
“We want to protect our customers,” he said.
Dutt was arrested just before 8 p.m. Wednesday after a security guard at the Wichita Country Club noticed a man covered in blood sitting in a car. About 30 minutes earlier, Achutha Reddy, a physician at Holistic Psychiatric Services, had been fatally stabbed in an alley behind his practice.
While police haven’t identified Dutt by name, Lt. Todd Ojile confirmed Thursday that officers arrested a 21-year-old man near the country club. Booking reports from the Sedgwick County Jail name Dutt as that person. He is being held on $1 million bond for suspicion of first-degree murder.
Ojile said the 21-year-old man was a client of Reddy’s, though for how long was not immediately known.
Dutt’s family declined to talk to a reporter Friday.