(DAYTON, Ohio) — Loved ones of those killed in a 2019 mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, have filed a lawsuit against the maker of a 100-round, double-drum ammunition magazine the gunman used in the massacre.
The lawsuit was filed in Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada, where the bullet magazine manufacturer, Kyung Chang Industry USA, INC., is located.
“I want to make sure that the actions of all those that were responsible for that day don’t go unanswered for my grandchildren,” Lashandra James, whose daughter, Lois Oglesby, was killed in the rampage, said at a virtual news conference on Monday.
James is now the guardian of her daughter’s two young children.
The lawsuit accuses Kyung Chang Industry USA of “reckless conduct” for continuing to manufacture the high-capacity magazine, which the lawsuit says allowed 24-year-old Connor Betts to kill nine people and wound 17 in just 32 seconds on Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton’s Oregon District, an area filled with bars and restaurants.
“If the Dayton shooter did not have such a large capacity magazine, he would not have been able to inflict the damage that he did,” said Ben Cooper, the attorney representing the families of five of the nine people killed. “No civilian needs a 100-round magazine. It’s only useful for the military or mass shootings.”
A spokesman for Kyung Chang Industry USA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News on the litigation.
Cooper said high-capacity magazines have been used in nearly 60% of mass shootings in recent history, including the July 20, 2012, rampage at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, that left 12 people dead; the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, that killed 20 children and six adults; the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas that killed 60 people; and the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17.
Jonathan E. Lowy, the chief counsel for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said he believes this is the first lawsuit “focused solely on the contribution of large-capacity ammunition magazines for gun violence.”
“Until you have companies that supply instruments of mass slaughter change the way they do business, they will continue to supply their weapons of war, and we will see more and more places in this country turned into war zones,” Lowy, a co-counsel in the lawsuit, said at Monday’s news conference.
The lawsuit accuses Kyung Chang Industry USA, a subsidiary of the South Korean company Kyung Change Industry Company, of knowingly providing “this instrument of slaughter to the general public, and sold it in a way that made it easy for the Shooter to obtain it.”
Investigators said Ethan Kollie, a friend of Betts, purchased the 100-round magazine Betts used with an AR-15-style pistol to commit the mass shooting. Investigators also said Kollie also told them he purchased the body armor Betts was wearing when he committed the shooting. In February 2020, Kollie was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to lying on a federal firearms form and to possessing a gun while using illegal drugs.
Betts was killed by a police officer in front of the bar that he was trying to get into during the rampage.
The shooting occurred a day after a gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and a week after a shooter killed three people and injured 17 others at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.
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