ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – Family members of two people killed in the August 31, mass shooting are filing a lawsuit against a gun parts manufacturer and supplier who provided the weapon the killer used.
The lawsuit will be filed after a press conference Friday at 11 AM at the Ector County Courthouse.
The families of Leilah Hernandez and Joseph Griffith are asking for more than $1 million in damages. Both were killed in the attack. Hernandez was at a local car dealership and Griffith was driving his wife and two kids before the gunman opened fire.
“Our clients want to hold accountable those who manufactured, profited from, and supplied the AR-style weapon used in the shooting,” attorney John Sloan said. “They hope to impose accountability for the negligence of the defendants that might prevent future gun violence and future gun deaths in Texas and beyond.”
Sloan’s firm is based in Longview with offices in Houston and Santa Fe, NM.
According to the suit and media reports, the gunman obtained his weapon illegally from Marcus Anthony Braziel, a Lubbock gun dealer who is one of the defendants. Braziel’s home was raided after the shooting and more than two dozen guns were seized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Braziel is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation by the Northern District of the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The other target of the suit, Anderson Manufacturing, based in Kentucky, sold firearms and gun parts to Braziel. The suit claims Anderson negligently sold “multiple firearms to an unlicensed dealer of weapons.”
“Anderson Manufacturing was obligated to exercise reasonable care in selling firearms to as to never needlessly endanger the public by arming prohibited or otherwise dangerous purchasers,” Sloan said.
The gunman failed a background check in 2014 because he was diagnosed as being mentally ill, according to published reports. He also had at least two misdemeanor arrests and pleaded guilty to evading arrest in 2002.