WINDHAM — Gun manufacturer Windham Weaponry, which was started in 2011 by the former owners of Bushmaster Firearms International LLC, said it was “sickened and shocked” by Friday’s shooting in Newtown, Conn.

“All of Windham Weaponry’s owners and employees are sickened and shocked by the senseless tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut. Many of us have small children and find it impossible to make sense of such a horrific act by a very sick individual. Our hearts are also broken for the victims and their grieving families,” the company said in a statement.

Windham Weaponry was started last year by Richard and Jeff Dyke and other investors after selling Bushmaster in 2006 to private equity Cerberus Capital Management.

The model of high-powered semiautomatic rifle allegedly used in the killings of 28 people, including 20 children, on Friday in Newtown, Conn. was manufactured in Windham until last year.

Bushmaster AR-15 .223 rifles were manufactured in Maine before Bushmaster Firearms International LLC moved production operations out of the state in March 2011.

“We sincerely hope that our country can come together to find solutions to the very complex issues of preventing these very disturbed and unstable people from ever getting to the point where they act out in this way.” Windham Weaponry said in a statement.

The same model of assault rifle was used in the Washington, D.C., sniper shootings in 2002 that left 10 dead and three wounded. Bushmaster paid $550,000 to the families of some of the victims to settle claims of negligent distribution of weapons. The company denied any wrongdoing in that case.


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