The parent of one of the children slain in last month’s mass shooting massacre in Uvalde, Texas, is targeting the gunmaker who manufactured the assault rifle used in the shooting.
Alfred Garza III, the father of 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, has hired a team of attorneys, including Josh Koskoff, who helped secure a $73 million settlement from gunmaker Remington for families of the victims of the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. No lawsuits have been filed yet but it’s a near certainty there will be civil litigation in the wake of the shooting, in which 19 fourth-graders and two teachers were slaughtered.
Amerie Garza was among them and a statement from the attorneys today signals that at least part of the focus of possible legal action against the gunmaker, Daniel Defense, might center on its controversial marketing of guns to young people. In a statement released Friday, Alfred Garza’s legal team said they had written a letter to the company seeking information about the company’s marketing “of AR-15 style rifles, including but not limited to the DDM4 v7 model; to your marketing of AR-15 style rifles to teens and children; to your incitement and encouragement of the assaultive use of these weapons; to your on-line purchase system; and to your communications, on any platform, with the Uvalde shooter; and to your awareness of the prior use of AR-15 style rifles in mass shootings.”
The Root reached out to Daniel Defense’s media relations team but has not yet receive a response.
The Uvalde shooter, who was killed after killing the teachers and children in the school, was 18-years-old and is reported to have bought the AR-15-style rifle he used on the day after his birthday. That was only a week before the massacre. Texas law does not allow 18-year-olds to own or possess handguns but does allow them to buy rifles.
On May 16, just days before the Uvalde shooting, Daniel Defense posted an image of a little boy holding an assault rifle to its Twitter account, captioned by the Bible verse from Proverbs 22:6.
But right after the shooting, the company made its Twitter account private.
Amerie Garza was buried on May 31. Funerals for other victims of the shooting are ongoing. In the meantime, the debate over the need for new gun regulations continues. President Joe Biden addressed the nation from the White House last night, urging for a return to the 1990s ban on assault rifles like the Ar-15 and AK-47, for so-called red flag laws, expanded background checks and increased funding and services for mental health.