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Group From Newtown Urges Hedge Fund To Stop Funding Assault Rifle Manufacturer

Cerberus Capital Announced Plans To Sell Interest In Freedom Group Last Year
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In this photo illustration a Rock River Arms AR-15 rifle is seen on December 18, 2012 in Miami, Florida. The weapon is similar in style to the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that was used during the Newtown massacre (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Photo illustration of a Rock River Arms AR-15. The weapon is similar in style to the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that was used during the Newtown massacre (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Tragedy In Newtown

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A group from Newtown, Conn. was in Midtown Manhattan Tuesday calling on a hedge fund to follow through on its promise.

As WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell reported, about 50 demonstrators gathered outside Cerberus Capital Management.

After the Dec. 14 massacre at Newtown, the hedge fund said it would sell Freedom Group, the company that makes the Bushmaster .223 rifle used in the rampage.

“I’m here today to try to remind Cerberus the promise they made and that they’re letting my son Jesse down,” Neil Heslin, the father of slain first grader Jesse Lewis, said. “There was a promise made then by Cerberus to sell their interest in Bushmaster.”

Po Murray of Newtown Action Alliance tried to deliver a letter to Cerberus on Tuesday.

“They wouldn’t let us in upstairs, I don’t know why,” she said.

“You are peacemakers, you are just as important as those people today at the United Nations,” Rep. Charles Rangel said at the demonstration.

The firm issued a statement just days after the Newtown shooting rampage announcing its plan to sell Freedom Group because “it is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level.”

Cerberus is headed by billionaire Stephen Feinberg, whose father lives in Newtown.

“It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. That is the job of our federal and state legislators. There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take. Accordingly, we have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group. We will retain a financial advisor to design and execute a process to sell our interests in Freedom Group, and we will then return that capital to our investors,” the statement read.

Authorities said Adam Lanza used the assault rifle to kill 20 first graders and six educators before killing himself as police closed in.

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