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17-Year-Old Who Carried Out Mass Shooting at Santa Fe High School Illegally Bought Ammunition on Website That Never Verified His Age, Lawsuit Alleges

SANTA FE, Texas — The 17-year-old shooter who killed 10 people and wounded 13 others at Santa Fe High School in 2018 bought more than 100 rounds of ammunition before the shooting on a website that accepted payment in prepaid American Express gift cards and never verified his age, the family of Sabika Aziz Sheikh, a 16-year old Pakistani exchange student, alleged in an amended petition filed today. Available here, the new filing lists Luckygunner.com, along with its owners, as additional defendants in the ongoing civil suit against the shooter and his parents, and was also joined by the families of other victims of the shooting.

Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, and the law firm of Martinez & McGuire PLLC represent the family of Sabika Aziz Sheikh, one of the students killed in the shooting. Click here to read more about Sabika in the Texas Monthly cover story Faith, Friendship and Tragedy at Santa Fe High. Additional plaintiffs in the case are represented by Martinez & McGuire PLLC and the Law Firm of Alton C. Todd.

“Selling ammunition online without verifying the customer’s age is an unacceptable business practice and shows an utter disregard for public safety,” said Eric Tirschwell, managing director of Everytown Law. “Federal law makes clear that handgun ammunition should not be put in the hands of children under 18, but that’s what Luckygunner did here — with devastatingly tragic results.”

“Sabika brought so much joy into our lives, and into the lives of everyone who knew her,” said Abdul Aziz and Farah Naz, the parents of Sabika Aziz Sheikh. “We know we can’t change the past, but we’re committed to fighting for accountability and for a safer future. People need to know just how easy it was for the shooter to buy ammunition from a website that failed to take even basic steps to protect the public.”

In today’s amended petition, the plaintiffs allege negligence, negligence per se, conspiracy and violations of the federal firearms laws against Luckygunner.com and its owners, including that:

  • In March of 2018 — just weeks after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — the Santa Fe High School shooter ordered 50 rounds of handgun ammunition in violation of federal law and 140 rounds of shotgun ammunition from the website Luckygunner.com.
  • To complete his order, the 17-year-old did not have to show any ID or otherwise submit proof of his age, create a Luckygunner account or set up a secure two-step authorization.  He did not even need to show that he was old enough to possess a validly issued credit card. Instead, he simply checked a terms and conditions box agreeing, among other things, that he was not under 21 and then used prepaid American Express gift cards to place his orders.
  • The shooter was apparently so confident Luckygunner wouldn’t check his age that he felt comfortable using his own name and address to illegally purchase the ammunition. 
  • In less than two minutes, Luckygunner approved his order, which was mailed to the shooter’s home two days later.

Today’s complaint is an updated version of the lawsuit in which the Sheikh family and other family members of some of the people killed or injured at Santa Fe High School allege the shooter’s parents negligently and irresponsibly stored their firearms, which the shooter ended up using in the shooting. The suit also alleges the shooter’s parents failed to respond to and address warning signs that their son posed a risk to others.