Online ammunition retailer named in civil lawsuit in connection with Santa Fe High School massacre
SANTA FE, Texas – An online ammunition retailer has now been named in a civil lawsuit filed over the May 2018 shooting rampage at Santa Fe High School. Attorneys representing those who were killed or injured during the shooting claim Dimitrios Pagourtzis started buying ammunition online two weeks after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Pagourtizis was 17 at the time of the shooting and federal law prohibited him from buying ammunition. According to the Gun Control Act, rifle and shotgun ammunition cannot be sold to anyone under 18 and other types of ammunition cannot be sold to anyone under 21.
The lawsuit claims Luckygunner.com sold Pagourtzis handgun and shotgun rounds without verifying his age.
“The 17-year old did not need to produce any identification or provide proof of age to complete the purchase, and his order was approved in two minutes,” the lawsuit reads.
Neither Texas nor federal law expressly requires retailers to check IDs prior to ammunition sales.
“Instead of designing a website that allowed them to verify the purchase age for every customer, the Luckygunner Defendants made a decision not to ask for proof of age unless the shipment was destined for a small handful of states where certain proof is expressly required by state law,” court documents read.
“Selling ammunition online without verifying the customer’s age is an unacceptable business practice and shows an utter disregard for public safety,” read a statement from Eric Tirschwell, managing director of Everytown Law.
Tirschwell represents the parents of Sabika Aziz Sheik, a Pakistani exchange student who was killed during the mass shooting.
Attorneys for the families claim Pagourtzis used his real name and pre-paid American Express gift cards to make the purchases, and only had to check a terms and conditions box on the site agreeing he was not younger than 21 years old.
In a statement to KPRC 2, the mother of Christopher Stone, Rosie Stone, writes:
“Everybody who had a hand in our son’s murder, we will fight to hold each and every one of them accountable. Luckygunner should be shut down for the irresponsible handling of who’s buying these bullets. They sold to a minor, he was 17. Those bullets that they so carelessly handed over, killed our son. His irresponsible gun owner of a father supplied the guns and Luckygunner supplied the bullets. It’s a vicious cycle of how this killer pulled off this mass shooting. All he needed was a red carpet rollout. "
Pagourtzis is charged with capital murder. He was recently declared incompetent to stand trial. Doctors at North Texas State Hospital in Vernon are currently working to try to restore his competency. Pagourtzis defense attorney and Galveston County prosecutors declined to comment on developments in the civil case.
Kimberly Vaughan’s mother, Rhonda Hart, told KPRC, “I think it’s about time we got some answers as to how the shooter got the ammo.”
Lucky Gunner released the following statement Sunday night:
“Our hearts go out to the families and victims affected by the tragedy in Santa Fe. We recently learned of a related lawsuit against us in which Michael Bloomberg-backed Everytown claims to be representing a plaintiff. Contrary to the claims, our company complied with all laws in making the subject sale; the suspect committed many crimes to include deliberately misrepresenting himself.”
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