Gun Makers Sued Over L.A. Shootings
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Victims’ relatives are suing the companies that made and sold the weapons that a white supremacist allegedly used to kill a postman and wound five people at a Jewish community center last year.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, claims that Glock Inc. and other makers of guns seized from Buford O. Furrow share some responsibility for the Aug. 10, 1999, crimes. It seeks unspecified damages.
Furrow is accused of wounding three boys, a teen-age girl and a woman at the North Valley Jewish Community Center in the San Fernando Valley, and then killing Filipino-American letter carrier Joseph Ileto hours later.
Furrow, a convicted felon with a history of mental instability, should not have been allowed to build an arsenal of semiautomatic and assault-style weapons, said Joshua Horwitz, the attorney representing the postman’s mother and the parents of three wounded children.
``It’s not good enough to let guns go out your factory door and say, ’Sorry, we don’t know where they’re headed,‴ Horwitz said. ``Companies like Glock need to make sure the retail purchaser is the end purchaser and not turn their back on the distribution of deadly weapons.″
Paul Jannuzzo, Glock’s vice president and general counsel, said Thursday morning that he had not yet heard of the suit and could not comment.
Victims and relatives have a deadline of a year after an event to bring such lawsuits.
Furrow is accused of using a 9 mm Glock pistol that he bought at a pawnshop to kill Ileto. In addition to Glock, the defendants include makers or sellers of the six other guns seized from Furrow.
Furrow has pleaded innocent, and his team of public defenders has launched an effort to save him from the death penalty.
In a private ceremony to remember the victims on the anniversary of the shooting Thursday, about 250 children at the North Valley Jewish Community Center sang songs and released butterflies into the air.
The purpose was for the children and counselors to celebrate among themselves ``for pulling together and being there to support each other through the year during a very wonderful time of growth,″ said Lysa Barry of Barry & Associates, which is providing public relations services for the center.