In 2018, Provo police responded to a home after reports that a man had pointed a handgun at two Google Fiber workers, yelling at them to get off his property.

When the officer arrived, Craig Robertson answered the door holding an AR-15.

That “triggered a bit of a stand off,” the Provo officer writes in a report, obtained by the Deseret News through an open records request. But he was never charged.

Instead, the officer writes “no actual crime had occurred” and Robertson was “exercising his 2nd Amendment rights, albeit a little recklessly.”

Roughly five years later on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 75-year-old Robertson was shot dead at that same home in Provo by FBI agents who were attempting to arrest him related to months of violent threats toward President Joe Biden and other top Democrats that Robertson had posted on social media. Biden was scheduled to land in Utah hours later.

In a statement, the FBI says Robertson was pointing a .357 revolver at agents as they entered his home at about 6:15 a.m. The bureau’s inspection division is investigating the shooting.

Did the FBI do the right thing? Analyzing the raid that killed a man who threatened President Biden
‘He has a gun!’ An eyewitness details what happened when the FBI came to a Provo neighborhood
FBI says man killed during Provo raid pointed revolver at agents

The 2018 incident began at about 12:23 p.m. on Aug. 20 after police received a call claiming Robertson had pointed a small handgun with a flashlight at Google Fiber employees who were accessing a public utility pole in his backyard, according to the police report.

When the officer responded, the Google employees said they had tried ringing Robertson’s doorbell, but he didn’t respond, the report reads.

“So the two workers went into the backyard and began getting ready to work when (Robertson) came out the back door and began yelling at them while holding a handgun,” reads a supplemental report from Provo police.

According to the employees, while Robertson “was yelling at them he was waving his gun around causing the muzzle to point in their direction.”

Law enforcement agents confer at the home of Craig Deeleuw Robertson, who was shot and killed by FBI agents, in Provo on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023. Robertson allegedly posted threatening comments about President Joe Biden hours before the president was scheduled to visit Utah. | Laura Seitz, Deseret News

After speaking to the workers, the officer tried to make contact with Robertson, and knocked on his door.

Robertson “yelled something at me through the door but I was unable to hear him due to the glass and metal storm door. I moved forward and took the handle so I could open it to speak with (Robertson). He stepped farther back into the room and shouted at me not to enter the home. It was at this point that I observed (Robertson) had an AR-15 rifle slung on his shoulder and he was holding the weapon with one hand,” the officer writes in the supplemental report.

The officer instructed Robertson to put the weapon down, and he refused, the report states. He continued to speak with Robertson through the door “until he calmed down and stated that he would put the rifle away,” according to the report.

Robertson told the officer he was angry that the workers had left his gate open, and was worried his dog would get out, the report reads.

“While I was speaking with (Robertson) while he had his rifle I observed that he was holding it in a ready position against his body with his finger on the trigger guard which led me to believe he had trained with firearms and was aware of where his muzzle was and how to control the weapon while moving,” the officer writes.

Robertson also told the officer he did not point the handgun at the workers — instead, he claimed “he was holding it against his body, muzzle down in a ready position and did not wave it around or threaten the males with it,” according to the police report.

The officer spoke to a Provo police sergeant, who agreed that Robertson was being reckless, but not violating the law. A Utah County attorney agreed Robertson “may not have exercised good judgment but was acting within his Constitutional Rights.”

The FBI began investigating Robertson in March after they were tipped off by former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social about a post where he threatened to kill New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Robertson’s Truth Social account was disabled in March, but he continued to make threatening and inflammatory posts on his Facebook page up until the week Biden came to Utah. He asked whether Utah would become famous “as the place a sniper took out Biden the Marxist” and urged residents to fire their guns into the air when Air Force One arrives.

Family of man shot by FBI mourn ‘senseless and tragic killing,’ say he was ‘frustrated and distraught’ by current events
Truth Social tip prompted investigation into man killed in Provo FBI raid

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.

He also alluded to a previous interaction with FBI agents who attempted to speak with him in his front yard in March. After that, Robertson posted messages directed toward FBI agents, who he said he knew were monitoring his social media, and saying he would be armed if they returned.

A federal complaint was filed the day before Robertson was charged with making interstate threats, making threats against federal law enforcement and making threats against the president.

In the aftermath of the shooting, many neighbors were surprised to learn of Robertson’s social media posts. They described him as a “teddy bear” in church, who had a passion for woodworking and guns. He was political, they said, but they never heard him say anything violent.

Robertson also had mobility issues. He walked with a cane and neighbors described him as overweight.

The raid drew intense criticism among far-right circles, with some calling it an “assassination” or “execution.”

“He could have been arrested easily and without violence. He was obese and barely able to walk unassisted. This hit on him was executed to make Americans afraid,” wrote far-right commentator Mike Cernovich on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

But former law enforcement officers and legal experts told the Deseret News the FBI was justified given the man’s access to guns and the violent specificity of his threats, which went well beyond the bounds of free speech protections. The armed 2018 interaction with Provo police and the FBI’s statement that he pointed a gun at officers likely bolster that claim.

Still, his family contends Robertson would never act on the violent statements.

“He has never, and would never, commit any act of violence against another human being over a political or philosophical disagreement,” the family said in a statement.

“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 family wrote.