CNN

Victims of a mass shooting that killed seven and injured dozens at a July 4 parade in Illinois have filed lawsuits against a gun maker, the accused shooter and the the shooter’s father, according to court documents.

The civil lawsuits, filed Tuesday in Lake County Circuit Court in Illinois, include the families of those killed as well as those who suffered physical or mental health complications as a result of the mass shooting in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, a press release from law firm Romanucci and Blandin states.

Plaintiffs allege that gun maker Smith & Wesson marketed assault rifles through unfair and deceptive strategies to “appeal to the impulsive tendencies and risk-taking of adolescent and post-adolescent civilian males “, state the lawsuits.

“The mass shooting during the 4th of July Parade in Highland Park was the predictable and entirely preventable result of a series of events initiated by Smith & Wesson,” the lawsuits state.

“Instead of taking action to stop or reduce the risk of this senseless slaughter, Smith & Wesson is facilitating violence for profit,” the lawsuits allege. “He uses sales and marketing practices that create and nurture a consumer base of young civilian men who keep the money flowing.”

Robert Crimo III, the man accused of carrying out the shooting, was indicted on 117 counts by a grand jury in July. He was charged with 21 counts of first-degree murder, three counts for each person he is accused of killing during the July 4 parade.

The celebration turned into a massacre when the shooter pointed a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle at spectators from a rooftop, authorities said.

Crimo, who was 21 at the time of the shooting, has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

In addition to the seven victims who were killed, dozens more were injured.

Plaintiff Lauren Bennett, who was shot twice in the July 4 parade massacre in Highland Park, speaks at a press conference in Northbrook, Ill., on Wednesday.

The accused shooter’s father, Robert Crimo Jr., was also named in the lawsuits for his role in sponsoring his son’s firearms license, which allowed his son to purchase firearms before his 21, including the gun he allegedly used in the shooting.

“He too is responsible for the devastation and death caused by his son,” the lawsuits state.

The father had come under scrutiny for signing the permit when his son showed signs of potential danger to those around him, police said. Police reports show officers were regularly called to their home for domestic disputes between the elder Crimo and his wife, and in 2019 police briefly confiscated a collection of knives after the young Crimo, then aged 18, threatened to “kill everyone”.

The elder Crimo has denied any wrongdoing and any responsibility for his son’s actions. He has not been charged in the case, a spokesperson for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office told CNN on Thursday.

CNN has contacted all of the named defendants for their comments on the lawsuits.

The lawsuits also accuse two gun shops – Bud’s Gun Shop and Red Dot Arms – of selling the rifle to the accused shooter while allegedly knowing Crimo lived in a jurisdiction that prohibited possession of the firearm.

“They, like the shooter’s father, deliberately ignored the public’s right to be free from violence by placing a weapon of war in the hands of the shooter. All of these actors must be held accountable for the massacre in the parade of the July 4 at Highland Park,” the lawsuits state.

Lawyers in the lawsuits are asking for a jury trial, saying the plaintiffs have “a right to recovery.”

Crimo had climbed onto a rooftop overlooking the street where the parade was taking place and fired a barrage of bullets at attendees, officials said.

In a voluntary statement to authorities, Crimo said he ‘looked down, aimed and opened fire’, emptying two 30-round magazines before loading his gun with a third and firing again, prosecutors said. Lake County Deputy Ben Dillon during Crimo’s virtual tour. bail hearing in July.

To conceal his identity, Crimo dressed in women’s clothing and used makeup to cover up his tattoos, according to investigators. After the shooting, he left the rooftop and mixed with the fleeing crowd, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Chris Covelli said.



Source link