The parents of a victim in the Aurora, Colorado shooting have filed a lawsuit accusing various websites of illegally selling bullets, armor and other equipment to alleged shooter James Holmes.
Filed today, the lawsuit alleges that the websites were negligent when they sold high capacity magazines, canisters of tear gas, body armor and other equipment to Holmes, who is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 in a Colorado movie theater in 2012.
Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, who's daughter Jessica Gwahli, 24, was killed in the shooting are represented by lawyers for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The Brady Center released statement in conjunction with the lawsuit on Thursday.
It was highly foreseeable to Defendants that their potential customers included persons with criminal intent, including persons such as James Holmes, who was bent on committing a mass assault."
The defendants in the case — which include Lucky Gunner, The Sportsman's Guide, BTP Arms, and BulletProofBodyArmorHQ.com — sold the 26-year-old Holmes a 100-round drum ammunition magazine and nearly 5,000 rounds of live ammunition, two canisters of tear gas, and multiple pieces of body armor. None of the named defendants have commented at press time. The companies that sold Holmes a shotgun, two handguns, and a semi-automatic rifle were not named in the suit.
"We're putting them on notice," Lonnie Phillips said to the Associated Press at a news conference in Denver. "We're coming after you."
The complaint details the lead up to the shooting, arguing that there were clear signs that Holmes should not have been sold what it calls an "arsenal" of bullets. The 29-page lawsuit goes into extreme detail as to how the size and scope of the equipment Holmes was able to acquire allowed him to commit "mass murder."
Defendants knew, should have known, or knew that it was substantially certain that selling high capacity magazines, including 100 round drum magazines, tear gas, and substantial quantities of ammunition to a private citizen without inquiry poses an unreasonable risk of harm to others."
Holmes plead not guilty for reasons of insanity. His trial is scheduled for December 8.