GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A Grand Forks airman has been accused of illegally purchasing a firearm that was used to kill Airman 1st Class Natasha Aposhian on the Air Force base last month, according to federal court documents.
Charges were filed against Airman 1st Class Daesha Renae Heard, 21, last week in federal court. Heard is charged with one count of unlawful purchase and transfer of a firearm, and one count of making false statements to obtain that firearm. The weapon was used by Airman 1st Class Julian Torres to kill Aposhian, according to federal court documents
The 319th Reconnaissance Wing has released few details about the June 1 incident in which Aposhian, 21, and Torres, 20, died by gunfire in a Grand Forks Air Force Base dormitory. For the first time, federal court documents officially confirm that Torres shot and killed Aposhian before using the gun to shoot himself. According to the base, Torres was rushed to a hospital, where he died of his injuries.
Aposhian's family has called the killing an act of domestic violence, and believe the two were dating in the two weeks before her death. In a recent news conference in Phoenix, Aposhian's mother said that days before she was killed, her daughter expressed fear that Torres was going to hurt her.
According to court documents, Torres had asked Heard on multiple occasions to help him obtain a firearm, because he was younger than 21 and could not legally purchase a firearm himself. On May 5, Heard agreed to "gift" Torres a firearm, and together they went to B&B Guns in Grand Forks. In the store, Heard told investigators that Torres picked out a Glock model 22C .40 caliber pistol because he liked the way it looked and because it had extended magazine options, according to documents.
Documents allege that after retrieving her military orders, which are required for nonresidents to purchase firearms, Heard paid $474 with tax for the Glock and one box of ammunition. According to court documents, in order to purchase the firearm, Heard checked "yes" on a form agreeing that she intended to be the actual owner of the gun.
She told investigators Torres gave her $500 for the purchase. Once back in the vehicle with Torres, she attempted to write on the receipt that she was gifting the firearm to him, but court documents say he stopped her and said he wanted to make an official typed copy. Documents don't clarify whether a typed copy was made.
Heard told investigators she instructed Torres to take the firearm to the Grand Forks Air Force Base armory, but Torres told her he had an unspecified friend with whom he planned to keep the firearm.
According to documents, Heard said she didn't believe Torres had any ill intent for the firearm.
Less than a month later, court documents say Torres and Aposhian got into a verbal altercation. During the altercation, Torres killed Aposhian and then himself, according to the documents. Court documents also say that by using the serial number on the Glock, investigators identified Heard as the gun's legal owner.
Earlier this month, more than 400 lawmakers in the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators called for a congressional investigation into Aposhian's death.
Heard was arrested on Monday, July 20, and was ordered to be released on personal recognizance by U.S. Magistrate Judge Alice Senechal at a detention hearing on July 21. Heard is next scheduled to appear in federal court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 10.