(Reuters) - Gun sellers in Missouri, including a Wal-Mart, “recklessly failed” to stop a felon from illegally buying the guns used by a white supremacist in deadly 2014 shootings outside Jewish sites, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
Frazier Glenn Cross, 74, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist organization, was sentenced to death in November for his attacks in Overland Park, Kansas, two years ago this week.
Cross was found guilty of killing Reat Underwood, 14, and his grandfather, William Corporon, 69, outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, and Terri LaManno, 53, outside a Jewish retirement home.
The jury also convicted Cross of three counts of attempted murder for shooting at three other people.
Cross said during his trial he shot the victims because he thought they were Jewish. None was Jewish.
The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages was filed on Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court by LaManno’s husband and daughters.
It accused Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Friendly Firearms LLC and a gun seller and gun show operator in Missouri and Iowa, respectively, and their employees of negligence over the firearms sales to a man who indirectly bought them for Cross.
The gun buyer, John Reidle, also named in the suit, knew Cross was a convicted felon barred from buying the weapons.
R.K. Shows, Inc, Friendly Firearms LLC, and Wal-Mart said they had no immediately comment on the lawsuit because they had not yet fully reviewed the complaint.
“Our condolences go out to the families who lost loved ones,” Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said.
The lawsuit comes at a time of a national debate over the extent of gun control regulations in the wake of a series of deadly shootings in public places.
Reidle, whom the lawsuit described as a white supremacist and friend of Cross, bought the 12-gauge shotguns used in the attacks at a gun show and at a Wal-Mart, respectively.
Cross is also known by the name Glenn Miller.
The lawsuit, citing the “remarks and behavior” of the men at the gun show and the store, said employees of Friendly Firearms and at a Lawrence County Wal-Mart, “knew, had reason to know, or recklessly failed to know that Miller was not lawfully entitled to purchase or possess a firearm.”
Reidle pleaded guilty last fall to making a false statement when buying a firearm, court records show.
An attorney for Reidle could not immediately be reached.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.