Alleged gun dealer arrested in racial killings case
July 7, 1999
PEORIA, Illinois (CNN) -- An Illinois man identified as the unlicensed gun dealer who sold weapons to alleged Midwest hate killer Benjamin Smith has been arrested on charges of illegally selling firearms, federal officials said Wednesday.
Donald Fiessinger, 64, was arrested Tuesday night at his home in Pekin, Illinois. He is to appear in court Wednesday afternoon before a U.S. magistrate in nearby Peoria.
Smith, a 21-year-old white supremacist, died of self- inflicted gunshot wounds Sunday night as he was being pursued by police following a three-day Independence Day weekend drive-by shooting spree in Illinois and Indiana.
Two men were killed and nine people were wounded.
Funeral services for one of the victims, former Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong, were to be held Wednesday in Evanston, Illinois. Byrdsong, 43, was black. The other man killed, Won-Joon Yoon, 26, was Korean.
Fiessinger's arrest on charges of dealing firearms without a federal firearms' dealer license was announced by the U.S. Attorney's office in Springfield, Illinois.
The guns used by Smith were a .22-caliber pistol and .380 semi-automatic. Both were found in the van he had carjacked after ditching the light blue 1994 Ford Taurus used in the shootings that began Friday night in Chicago.
Investigators have said previously the weapons were purchased from an unlicensed dealer in Peoria in late June.
Clinton calls shooting spree 'a rebuke' of America's ideals
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