Distraught over marital woes, Al Petrosky opened fire in a crowded grocery store in suburban Denver,
Colorado, killing his wife and two others. The wife, Terry, worked in
the store and had recently obtained a restraining order against him.
Albert, didn't take it too well.
He decided to strap on a bullet-proof
vest, grab his pistol, assault rifle chineese and hunting rifle, and
head to Albertson's. There he shot his wife, the store manager and a
sheriff's sergeant Timothy Mossbrucker, who was getting out of his
As he tried to flee, the rampager was
tackled by a construction worker who held him down until police arrived.
Gunman in Colorado Kills 3 and Is
The New York Times
Sunday, April 30, 1995
A heavily armed man killed three people, including
his estranged wife, at a supermarket in this Denver suburb on Friday
morning before a construction worker hit him on the head with a stone
and the police arrested him.
The gunman was wearing a military bulletproof jacket
and was armed with a shotgun, a pistol and an assault rifle equipped
with a bipod, witnesses said. He was identified as Albert L. Petrosky,
35, of Denver.
The man entered the supermarket, an Albertson's
store, about 9:30 A.M. and fatally shot its manager and the manager of
the delicatessen there, said a spokesman for the Jefferson County
Sheriff's office, Robert Smith. Store workers told reporters that the
gunman had threatened the deli manager, his estranged wife, over the
Witnesses said that when the man left the store he
started firing wildly in the parking lot, where deputies had arrived.
One deputy, Timothy Mosbrucker, 36, was shot while behind the wheel of
his patrol car and later died at a hospital. A woman in the parking lot,
Misty Hudnall, 23, was wounded in the leg and was hospitalized in fair
The construction worker, whose name was not disclosed,
crept up behind the gunman and hit him in the back of the head with a
stone, knocking him to the ground, and then helped deputies subdue him,
The names of the two victims killed inside the store
were not immediately made known.
On April 28, 1995, Albert Petrosky walked into an
Albertson's Grocery Store in suburban Denver, Colorado and gunned down
his estranged wife and the store manager. Armed with an L.A.R. Grizzly
50 caliber sniper rifle, an SKS Chinese semi-automatic assault rifle, a
.32 revolver, and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, Petrosky then walked out
into the shopping center parking lot, where he exchanged fire with a
federal IRS agent passing by and killed Sgt. Timothy Mossbrucker of the
Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.
Petrosky, who was known to his friends as "50-cal Al,
fired all four weapons, including the 50 caliber rifle, during this
After the incident, investigators found three fired 50
caliber cases and eight live 50 caliber rounds outside Petrosky's van,
along with four live rounds inside the van. Petrosky, a 36-year old auto
mechanic, was wanted at the time on a felony warrant, but nevertheless
was able to buy the 50 caliber sniper rifle from a gun dealer without a
background check because the federal Brady Law did not apply to long
guns at that time. The dealer who sold him the super gun was later
reported to have said, "I feel real bad about what happened."
It should be noted that Petrosky, who later committed
suicide after having been convicted of three counts of murder, was not
wealthy. He was an auto mechanic who spent a lot of time playing pool,
had a criminal record, and was a wanted man. Yet he was able to afford
his "toy for a big boy"—once again trashing the specious claim that 50
caliber sniper rifles are "too expensive" for criminals.
When authorities test-fired Petrosky's Grizzly 50 caliber
rifle, according to Jefferson County Chief Deputy District Attorney
Peter Weir, it blasted through a manhole cover "like a hot knife through
butter." Barrett Firearms Manufacturing dismisses such evidence of the
50 caliber's power by this sneering red herring, posted on its Internet
Capable of shooting through a steel manhole cover that is
3˝ inches thick. (If a manhole cover existed this thick, it would weigh
anyone ever seen one of these? Who would lift it?)
Clearly, the point is not the dimension or weight of any
given manhole cover, however much Barrett wishes it were. The point is
rather the power of the 50 caliber sniper rifle and its round. That
power is well documented in—among other things—a U.S. Marine Corps
demonstration for the Congress and Barrett's own promotional literature.
It happened that each of Petrosky's victims were killed
by other weapons in his arsenal.r However, most people would
agree that this incident qualifies as "criminal use" of a 50 caliber
Jury hears grim inventory of
Charlie Brennan - Rocky Mountain News
Murder victim Terry Petrosky's body was riddled
with 14 bullet holes when she was gunned down last year by her estranged
Dr. Ben Galloway, the forensic pathologist
who conducted autopsies on all three victims of the April 28, 1995,
shooting rampage, testified Thursday.
inventory of the human loss triggered no noticeable reaction from the
relatives of the victims, although some bowed their heads to avoid
seeing stark color photographs of their loved ones' remains.
Albert Petrosky, 36, is on trial for three counts of first-degree murder
in the Jefferson County District Court case. He faces a possible death
penalty if convicted.
Petrosky's lawyers admit he did
the shootings but claim the episode was a crime of passion.
Galloway said Terry Petrosky, 37, was hit eight times from her torso
down to her left leg, two shots to the chest proving fatal.
But counting exit wounds - one bullet entered and exited the same arm
twice - he inventoried 14 wounds.
manager Dan Suazo, 37, was shot three times in the back, two of the
wounds causing the fatal damage. Like Terry Petrosky, he was shot by a
large-caliber handgun. It sent three bullets clear through his body.
Jefferson County Sheriff's Sgt. Timothy Mossbrucker, 36, shot in his
patrol car in the parking lot as he arrived at the scene, was struck
once in the face by one round from a .30-caliber SKS semiautomatic
Jefferson County Sheriff's Sgt. Timothy
Mossbrucker, 36, shot in his patrol car in the parking lot as he arrived
at the scene, was struck once in the face by one round from a .30-caliber
SKS semiautomatic rifle.