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Smith & Wesson, Kentucky gun shop sued by Highland Park shooting victims

Shooting July Fourth Parade
Posted at 11:33 AM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 12:33:07-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The victims of the July Fourth fatal mass shooting in Illinois filed lawsuits Wednesday against Smith & Wesson, the accused gunman, his father, and a Kentucky gun store.

The victims claimed the Lexington gun shop sold an assault rifle to the alleged shooter.

The shooting happened in Highland Park during the city's Fourth of July parade. Seven people were killed, and more than 30 others were injured by bullets or shrapnel during the attack.

Keely and Jason Roberts, survivors of the shooting, filed the lawsuit in Lake County Circuit Court in Illinois on Tuesday. The lawsuit says Keely Roberts was shot, and a bullet paralyzed her son.

The victims are represented by Romanucci & Blandin, Everytown Law, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

According to a news release, the victims are suing online gun distributor Bud's Gun Shop, Smith & Wesson Brands, and Illinois gun retailer Red Dot Arms.

"The use of a Smith & Wesson M&P15 for this nefarious purpose was predictable and preventable, and there must be accountability for the corporate decisions that incubated this tragedy, clearly dismissing public safety while bringing in record earnings," said Antonio M. Romanucci, founding partner at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, in a news release. "With this litigation, we intend to end the Smith & Wesson manipulation of consumers."

The alleged shooter, 21-year-old Robert Crimo III, and his father are also being sued.

The lawsuit says that Bud's Gun Shop sold an assault rifle to the alleged shooter despite the fact that it is illegal for people who live in Highland Park, Illinois, to acquire and possess assault weapons.

According to court documents, Bud's Gun Shop shipped the gun to Red Dot Arms, a gun dealer located in Illinois, which transferred the assault rifle to the alleged shooter.

The lawsuit claims both companies knew where Crimo, the alleged shooter, lived and knew they were selling an assault rifle to him despite possessing one in the area being illegal.

"Nevertheless, they proceeded with the sale and transfer, enabling the Shooter to carry out his deadly mission," the lawsuit states.

We have reached out to Bud's Gun Shop for comment and have not heard back.

A grand jury indicted Crimo III on 117 counts, including felony charges of murder, attempted murder, and aggravated battery. He pleaded not guilty to the charges back in August.

Click here to read more about the lawsuit.

Jordan Mickle at WLEX first reported this story.