Texas church shooting survivors sue company that sold firearm to gunman

Lawsuit claims gunman was ineligible to purchase gun due to Colorado residency

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - Two survivors of the fatal 2017 shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs are suing Academy Sports and Outdoors, the company that sold the gunman the firearm that was used in the attack.

Rosanne Solis and Joaquin Ramirez's attorney, Stanley Bernstein, filed the lawsuit in Bexar County on Friday.

The lawsuit alleges that the gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, was ineligible to purchase the Ruger AR 556 with a 30-round magazine that was used in the shooting because his ID stated he maintained residency in Colorado, where it is illegal to own such a firearm.

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The lawsuit adds that "a Texas gun dealer (Academy) cannot sell a firearm and deliver that firearm to a citizen of another state if that sale would not be legal in the purchaser's state of residence (Colorado)."

Authorities said Kelley shot into the church from outside, striking several people, then entered the church and walked down the aisle gunning congregants down in their pews.

Solis was shot in the shoulder and Ramirez was able to crawl out of the church and contact police. Solis said they drove themselves to the hospital.

"I hear firecrackers popping. Ta-ta-ta," Solis told KSAT in 2017. Then someone yelled, warning them to take cover. "Everybody started screaming, yelling. Everyone got down, crawling under wherever they could hide," she said. "It was so scary. He was shooting hard."

Solis said just when they thought they had been rescued, things got worse.

"I thought it was the police when he went inside because everyone got real quiet. Everyone was saying ‘Be quiet. It's him. It's him.’" she said. "Then he yelled out, ‘Everybody die [expletive],’ and he started shooting again."

The couple is seeking more than $1 million each.

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