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Victims and survivors of the Highland Park mass shooting file lawsuits against shooter, father, and gun makers

Highland Park mass shooting victims and families file massive lawsuits
Highland Park mass shooting victims and families file massive lawsuits

Image source: WTTW News

On Wednesday, survivors of the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, made the radical decision to file lawsuits.

The lawsuits attribute the responsibility for the massacre to the alleged gunman, his father, a manufacturer, distributor, and dealer of weapons.

Dozens of people were injured in the Highland Park shooting, and seven people were killed.

The lawsuits were filed in Lake County Court with Smith & Wesson, Bud’s Gun Shop, Red Dot Arms, Roberto Crimo III, and Roberto Crimo Jr. as the defendants.

Smith & Wesson

According to the lawsuits, Smith & Wesson, the arms manufacturer, tried to sell its guns to “disturbed young men by targeting and exploiting [their] risk-seeking – and often troubling – desires.”

The plaintiffs’ attorneys pointed to Smith & Wesson for marketing and advertising strategies targeting young men consistent with the allegations.

As a result, gun sales and mass shootings have increased in the United States.

The lawsuits were announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

Antonio Romanucci, attorney at Romanucci & Bladin, released a statement saying:

“As they watch their gun sales increase, their profits increase, have they tuned down their marketing strategy, their advertising strategy when it comes to vulnerable young men in this country? No.”

The lawyer accused the manufacturers of profiting from mass shootings.

They said that after each shooting, there is usually a “bump in sales” of firearms.

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Bud’s Gun Shop and Red Dot Arms

Antonia Romanucci has alleged that online arms dealer Bud’s Gun Shop and Illinois arms dealer Red Dot Arms were involved in the heinous actions of Crimo III.

Despite the prohibition of the weapons he used in Highland Park and Highwood, the shooter was able to obtain such weapons.

The plaintiffs said the alleged shooter should have given them his address and ID at Bud’s Gun Shop.

The online arms dealer reportedly showed that he was based in the area.

Roberto Crimo Jr.

Plaintiffs have also included the alleged shooter in the lawsuit. Roberto Crimo Jr. is accused of allowing his son to get his guns by sponsoring a FOID app.

Crimo III is known for a history of violence.

In 2019, Highland Park Police responded to two calls about him.

The first was a suicide attempt in April 2019.

Police then reacted in September when Crimo III threatened to “kill everyone”.

Plaintiffs and survivors

The estates of victims Nicolas Toledo, 78, Steven Strauss, 88, and Jacki Sundheim, 63, who were all killed in the shooting, filed the lawsuits.

More than 40 others who have been killed with loved ones who have been killed have also filed lawsuits.

Some survivors of the shooting spoke at the press conference on Wednesday.

Lauren Bennett, a victim who was shot in the hip and back during the parade, spoke about the experience.

Bennett attended with her husband, two younger children, parents, and in-laws.

While she enjoyed the event, she heard shots from “blue skies” before being shot herself.

“I felt a tight shock in my back and hip and saw my entire lower left side was bleeding,” said Bennett.

“I knew right then we were under attack.”

Bennett recounted how her family fled the scene, running around in pools of blood.

“We survived a battle zone that day and will carry the most horrendous images with us for the rest of our lives.”

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Jon Strauss, the son of victim Steven Strauss, recalled learning of his father’s death and the pain the loss caused him and his family.

“There would never be a goodbye hug or kiss,” he said.

“There would be no opportunity to thank him for all the love and support he showered on us over the years.”

“There would be no more jokes, laughs, or conversations.”

Liz Turnipseed, another victim, was unable to attend the press conference as she had to return to the hospital due to complications from her injury.

Ari Scharg, a lawyer at Edleson PC, read a statement from Turnipseed about being shot and asking her husband to protect their young daughter.

Scharg echoed the sentiments of victims, accusing Smith & Wesson of marketing its M&P-style rifle – the weapon responsible for the mass shootings.

“We believe that we will demonstrate to a jury that Smith & Wesson is out there training shooters, as we speak, in households all over the country,” said Scharg.

Sandy Hook lawsuit

The lawsuit reflects the approach taken by the families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.

The Sandy Hook families have accused Remington of violating Connecticut consumer protection law by selling AR-15 style guns to young men.

The shooters were already at risk of resorting to violence.

They were able to circumvent federal laws that gave gun manufacturers broad protection from prior lawsuits.

In February, they reached a $73 million settlement with the gun company that made the rifle used in the shooting ten years ago.

The settlement is considered the largest payment made by a weapons manufacturer in connection with a mass murder.


Survivors of Highland Park mass shooting sue gunman, gun manufacturer, distributors

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