Parents of Aurora theater shooting victim sue sites that allegedly supplied Holmes
DENVER — Online retailers that sold ammunition, body armor, tear gas and other gear to accused Aurora theater killer James Holmes were recklessly negligent, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence alleged in a lawsuit filed in Arapahoe District Court Tuesday.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, whose daughter Jessica Redfield Ghawi was killed in the massacre.
The suit, first announced early this week, names the following defendants:
- Lucky Gunner (BulkAmmo.com), which allegedly sold Holmes more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition
- The Sportman’s Guide, which allegedly sold Holmes a 100-round drum ammunition magazine and 700 other rounds
- BulletProofBodyArmorHQ.com, which allegedly sold Holmes multiple pieces of body armor
- BTP Arms, which allegedly sold him two canisters of tear gas.
The websites failed to use reasonable safeguards or screening efforts when they supplied Holmes with the arsenal he allegedly used to kill 12 people and wound at least 58 others, the suit argues. The plantiffs want an injunction requiring the retailers to change their “unreasonable business practices.”
“Two years ago when our daughter Jessica was murdered, and we first heard the details of the massacre, I asked my husband: ‘How can anyone order over 4,000 rounds of ammunition without raising any red flags?'” Sandy Phillips said Tuesday.
“Why weren’t any questions asked of the person who bought all of this ammunition? As gun owners, parents, and citizens of this country, we hope that our lawsuit will spare other families the tragedy that we have gone through after the death of our beautiful daughter.”
Earlier this month, the Brady Center launched a national campaign against what they call “Bad Apple” gun dealers. The Center argues that just five percent of gun dealers account for nearly all of the guns used in crimes.
The Brady Center has prevailed in similar cases in 10 other states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Center said in a media release.
Holmes legally purchased his firearms — including a Smith and Wesson .233 semi-automatic rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a pair of .40 caliber Glock pistols — at gun stores in Colorado. Those shops are not named in this lawsuit.