Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence Suing Indianapolis Firearms Dealer

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Demetrious Martin was prevented from legally purchasing or possessing a firearm because he was a convicted felon.

But that didn’t stop the Indianapolis man from buying a handgun — or from using it two months later to shoot Indianapolis police officer Dwayne Runnels. 

Now, Runnels is suing the Indianapolis store that sold the gun Martin used to shoot him in December 2011.

The lawsuit — filed by Seymour attorney Roger Pardieck and the Washington, D.C.-based Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence Legal Action Project — alleges the Northeastside firearms dealer “knowingly or negligently” transferred a handgun to the convicted felon who later shot and injured Runnels during a traffic stop.

Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are store owner Edward J. Ellis and Tarus Blackburn Jr., an Indianapolis man who bought the gun from KS&E Sports and resold it to Martin in the gun store parking lot.

A man who answered the telephone today at KS&E Sports and identified himself as the owner, but did not provided his name, said he had no comment on the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, however, Runnels says staff at KS&E Sports should have known that Blackburn was making a “straw purchase” for Martin. It says Martin accompanied Blackburn to the store at 8756 Pendleton Pike and picked out the Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun for Blackburn to buy.

Runnels — who fired back and killed Martin in the December 2011 incident — is seeking unspecified monetary damages. He also is asking for a court order “enjoining or abating the public nuisance created by KS&E Sports until it modified its deficient sales, training, and marketing policies governing the sale of firearms.”

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Source: Indy Star


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