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?Court to decide if Academy can be sued for role in deadly Sutherland Springs Shooting

A gathering outside of a small white church in Sutherland Springs.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (January 31, 2019) Today a Texas state court will decide if victims of the deadly Sutherland Springs shooting can sue Academy Sports + Outdoors for their role in the massacre. In November 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley entered into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, armed with a high-capacity assault rifle that he purchased from Academy, and killed 26 people, an unborn child, and wounded more than 20 others.

Attorney for the Sutherland Springs victims’ families, Robert C. Hilliard, says that Academy negligently sold Kelley the Ruger AR-556 with a 30-round capacity magazine used in the shooting. Hilliard states, “If a customer with an out-of-state driver’s license walks into a Texas gun store to purchase a firearm, the gun store, here Academy, is required by law to comply with both the laws of the state of Texas and the laws of the state where that purchaser lives.” Kelley presented a Colorado driver’s license to Academy when he purchased the Ruger. Although the Ruger model is legal in Texas, it is not legal in Colorado, where Kelley was listed as a resident on his license.

Hilliard says, “There is no question Academy was required to follow the laws of both Texas and Colorado in that sale. Academy failed to do so as Colorado prohibits the sale of a Ruger AR-556 with a 30-round capacity. Academy should have never sold Kelley that Ruger.”

Kelley is reported to have targeted babies and young children during the shooting. He entered the Church yelling, “Everybody is going to [expletive] die!”

“The level of purposeful Armageddon Kelley and his Academy AR-556 with a 30-round magazine reigned down upon innocent families who were just spending their Sunday honoring their faith and their God is unimaginable,” says Hilliard, “Kelly literally brought hell to church using his Academy-issued instrument of death, a gun that the store was not supposed to sell to him.”

Hilliard was clear to state, “This case is not about taking legally purchased guns away from American citizens, it is about making sure that gun dealers like Academy don’t ignore the laws that are already in place just to make a buck. If they do so, they will be held accountable.”

Attorney Bob Hilliard, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and red tie, stands with his arms crossed across his chest.

ABOUT Hilliard Law

Hilliard Law specializes in personal injury, mass torts, product liability, commercial and business litigation, and wrongful death.The firm has represented victims of child injuries and daycare deaths in Texas.For over two decades, the firm has been appointed by Judges in Texas and around the country to lead class actions, including the single largest litigation in US history, GM’s ignition switch defect litigation. Bob Hilliard has tried over 100 jury trials and obtained the Largest Verdict in the country in 2012 and the #1 verdict in Texas.


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