New York City police investigate the scene of a police-involved...

New York City police investigate the scene of a police-involved shooting in the Bronx that left 14-year-old Shaaliver Douse dead after being shot by a New York City police officer. (Aug. 4, 2013) Credit: New York Daily News

The handgun found near the body of a Bronx teenager after he was shot dead by a rookie officer was first purchased more than a decade ago in a Kentucky gun shop, investigators said Tuesday.

Shaaliver Douse, 14, was shot to death about 3 a.m. Monday by the officer after police said the teen refused an order to drop an Astra A 100 9-mm pistol he used to shoot at a fleeing man near East 151 Street and Courtlandt Avenue in the Melrose area of the Bronx. The intended victim has not been identified.

The Spanish-made weapon was purchased legitimately in February 1999 at T&J Sporting Goods, a federally licensed gun dealer in Crestwood, Ky., a suburb of Louisville, an NYPD spokesman said. The purchaser was a 21-year-old Louisville man, the spokesman said.

A spokesman for T&J Sporting Goods said the store provided information to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after the shooting to assist in tracing the weapon. Store records indicated that the gun was purchased at a store branch in Louisville that closed in 2001, the spokesman said.

Joseph Giacalone, a former NYPD detective and now an instructor and expert on criminal investigations, said it was not uncommon for the chain of custody of a gun to become lost.

"Like everything else, people move, things gets lost," said Giacalone, who added that the gun's theft might have gone unreported by the original listed owner.

Police said the confrontation between Douse and his intended shooting victim was gang-related. It was the third case in which Douse, despite his youth, was linked to the use or possession of a firearm. In 2012, Douse was charged in a criminal complaint with illegal possession of a .32-caliber revolver that held three live rounds, court records showed. The case led to a 2013 indictment that was still open at the time of Douse's death.

In addition, a law enforcement official said that Douse was a suspect in an attempted murder case May 16 where a man was wounded at a gas station. Bronx prosecutors decided to defer prosecution of the case because of a lack of cooperation.

"There was insufficient evidence to proceed," said Steven Reed, a spokesman for Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson. The "complaining witness could not identify who shot at him."

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