Craig Deleeuw Robertson, 75 years old at the time of his death, was a Trump supporter living in Utah who was shot dead by the FBI when they raided his home over threatening Facebook posts made about President Joe Biden, such as when he said that he had to “dust off” his long-range rifle in preparation for a Biden visit to Utah.
While such threats should never be condoned, a former neighbor and friend of Robertson told the Daily Wire that Robertson was a “kind person,” a pillar of his local church who posed no real threat to anyone when the FBI raided his home.
That neighbor, Tom Rich, said that he dismissed Robertson’s threatening Facebook posts because they had little reach, saying, “I just dismissed it — he’s ranting again, voicing his frustrations. I don’t even know how many friends he had on Facebook; I would imagine not many and that his posts weren’t going to many people.”
Rich added that the FBI’s raiding his home was the high-risk option as opposed to just picking up the 300 pound, 75-year-old man who hobbles around on a cane when he was in town, saying, “It seems like a much lower risk to detain or arrest in the middle of the day as he’s hobbling out of his vehicle or in a parking lot somewhere.”
Rich then said that it was unlikely that Rich’s posts and speech would ever have turned into action, and that the FBI should have just waited to see what would happen, saying, “If they were concerned his speech was going to turn into action, they could have waited to see if he was even going to leave his property that day. I’d bet my life Craig would have dropped an ill-advised post or two, and nothing else ever would have happened.”
Emphasizing that point, Rich added that, in his opinion, there wasn’t a threat to the president at the time because Robertson’s home is 45 miles from where Biden was appearing, adding to the reasons why the FBI should have just waited: “At worst, they had 45 miles between Craig and the president, more than enough time to get better information as to his intent — beyond just his online words — before taking such forceful action.”
Then, speaking about Robertson’s character and reputation around the community, Rich said, “Chairs for friends and rocking horses for their kids. He always wanted to show my kids the stuff that he was working on. I was very comfortable around Craig and felt that he was somebody who cared about the people around him very much.”
Craig Robertson’s family released a similar statement, saying, “We, the family of Craig Deeluew Robertson, are shocked and devastated by the senseless and tragic killing of our beloved father and brother, and we fervently mourn the loss of a good and decent man. The Craig Robertson we knew was a kind and generous person who was always willing to assist another in need, even when advanced age, limited mobility, and other physical challenges made it more difficult and painful for him to do so. He often used his expert woodworking skills to craft beautiful and creative items for others, including toys such as sleighs, rocking horses, and bubble gum dispensers for the children of friends and neighbors at Christmas time. He was active in his local church congregation and loved the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart. He was a devoted dog lover all his life, and he lavished his animals with love and affection. He was a lover of history and an avid reader of every kind of book. In his younger years, he was a sportsman and hunter. He was a firearm enthusiast, collector and gunsmith, who staunchly supported the constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms for the purposes of providing food and protection for his family and home. As a safety inspector in the steel industry, he worked diligently and conscientiously to safeguard the lives and well-being of untold thousands who would use, and benefit from, the numerous industrial and public works projects he was responsible for during the course of a decades-long career. Craig loved this country with all his heart. He saw it as a God-inspired and God-blessed land of liberty. 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. As an elderly–and largely homebound–man, there was very little he could do but exercise his First Amendment right to free speech and voice his protest in what has become the public square of our age–the internet and social media. Though his statements were intemperate at times, he has never, and would never, commit any act of violence against another human being over a political or philosophical disagreement. As our family processes the grief and pain of our loss, we would have it be known that we hold no personal animosity towards those individuals who took part in the ill-fated events of the morning of August 9, 2023, which resulted in Craig’s death. We ask that the media and public respect our family members’ privacy and give us the time and space needed to come to terms with the sad tragedy of these events.”
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