The parents of a slain Kansas City man are suing the manufacturer of the weapon used in the shooting and the dealer accused of selling it to a former fire captain who is charged in federal court with knowingly supplying firearms to felons.
Alvino and Beverly Crawford filed the wrongful death lawsuit this week in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of their son, Alvino Dwight Crawford Jr., The Kansas City Star reports. Phone messages that The Associated Press left with manufacturer Jimenez Arms, dealer Green Tip Arms and the former fire captain, James Samuels, weren’t immediately returned.
Lawyers with Everytown for Gun Safety, a group backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, are helping to represent Crawford’s family.
The suit alleges that Samuel purchased a weapon in April 2016 from Green Tip Arms and provided it to a woman who kept it in her home. Several people could access it there, including a convicted felon and teenager who are charged with killing Crawford in July 2016.
The suit said that from 2013 to 2015, Samuels purchased 32 guns directly from Jimenez Arms even though the company knew Samuels didn’t have a federal firearms license and that he intended to re-sell those guns. In some cases, Samuels transferred guns to people he knew were convicted felons, including some who told him they planned to use the weapons to commit crimes, including homicides, according to the lawsuit.
The gun dealers chose not to report Samuels’ suspicious and illegal activity to authorities and continued to profit from them, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit doesn’t say how the weapon used to kill Crawford moved from Jimenez Arms to Green Tip Arms.
Crawford, who served time for attempted robbery and violating probation, helped feed the homeless near downtown the day before he was killed.
“It was like he didn’t get a chance to fulfill the destiny that I believe God had for him,” said his mother, Beverly Crawford. “It was so unfair, so unfair. He had paid for everything that he had done.”