- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The family of Craig Robertson, the man killed by FBI agents serving a warrant at his Provo home Wednesday morning, say he was a elderly, homebound man who used social media to air his grievances with “what he, and many others in this nation, observed to be a corrupt and overreaching government.”
In a statement posted on Facebook Thursday, the family said they “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.”
Neighbors say Robertson was shot and killed between 6 and 6:30 a.m. Wednesday as the FBI carried out a raid related to his social media posts where he made detailed and specific threats to President Joe Biden, who arrived later that day in Utah as part of a tour of Western states.
Robertson also threatened other high-profile Democrats — he posted about “patriotic dreams” of standing over the body of California Gov. Gavin Newsom “with a wound above his brow and my S&W M&P 9mm still smoking.” Other posts threatened U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Vice President Kamala Harris and New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Neighbors say they heard the FBI yelling “he has a gun” after a short burst of gunfire, moments before Robertson was killed. And law enforcement sources who spoke with The Associated Press say he was armed during the shooting.
But his family maintains Robertson’s political views and statements would have never escalated to violence.
“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,” the family said.
They described him as an elderly and homebound man who was “understandably frustrated and distraught” by “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.”
“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,” the statement reads.
Robertson, the family says, “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.”
They remembered him for his woodworking skills, his dedication to his church community and his love for animals and history. He was a safety instructor who “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.”
Robertson was known to have many firearms and frequently posted pictures to his social media account displaying his vast collection. Some of these images were listed as evidence in the complaint.
There was a 2009 photo of Robertson wearing the camouflage gear and holding a rifle in the woods, which authorities say showed his ability to conduct sniper tactics. Another post shows a photo of a nickel with hole through the head of Thomas Jefferson. Next to it is a card showing Robertson apparently fired the shot from 100 yards with a Remington rifle equipped with a scope in 1982.
“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,” the family said.
Neighbors who spoke with the Deseret News in the aftermath of the shooting echoed the family’s sentiments — many were not friends with Robertson on Facebook or Truth Social, the social media platform created by Trump Media & Technology Group.
It’s there where Robertson made the threatening remarks, and members of the community were surprised to learn the details of his online persona. “I never knew anything about that,” one neighbor told the Deseret News, asking to remain anonymous.
The family says they hold no personal animosity towards the “individuals who took part in the ill-fated events of the morning of August 9, 2023, which resulted in Craig’s death.”