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Uvalde families sue makers of AR-15, ‘Call of Duty,’ Meta over elementary school mass shooting


Families of the victims killed in the 2022 Uvalde mass shooting are suing Meta Platforms, which owns Instagram, the publisher of the video game “Call of Duty” and Daniel Defense, the makers of AR-15 assault rifles.

The civil death lawsuits, filed on the second anniversary of the massacre, accuse the companies of being an “unholy trinity” that is working “to convert alienated teenage boys into mass shooters,” including 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. On the afternoon of May 24, 2022, Ramos entered Robb Elementary School through an unlocked door and barricaded himself inside a classroom for nearly an hour.

Ramos killed two teachers and 19 students before he was fatally shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

Julián Moreno, great-grandfather of Robb Elementary mass shooting victim Alexandria
Julián Moreno, great-grandfather of Robb Elementary mass shooting victim Alexandria “Lexi” Rubio, stands by her memorial cross at the town square on Friday morning, May 24, 2024, in Uvalde, Texas. Friday marked two years since 19 fourth-graders and two teachers were killed by an 18-year-old gunman at the Uvalde school. (Sam Owens/The San Antonio Express-News via AP)

According to the two complaints, filed in California and in Texas, Ramos downloaded the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” in November 2021. Months later, about a week before the school shooting, he purchased a DDM4 V7, a firearm featured in the game, which acts as “a teaser for players eager to try out the weapon,” one of the lawsuits alleges.

“Mere minutes after midnight on May 16—the Shooter’s 18th birthday—he purchased a DDM4V7,” it says. “Eight days later, the Shooter inflicted unspeakable violence at Robb Elementary School, killing 21 and injuring and traumatizing many more.”

FILE - Meta's logo is seen on a sign at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Nov. 9, 2022. A lawsuit filed Wednesday, May 1, 2024, against Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. is arguing that a federal law often used to shield internet companies from liability also allows people to use external tools to take control of their feed even if that means shutting it off entirely. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez, File)
Meta’s logo is pictured on a sign at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Nov. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez, File)

Around the same time, Ramos “was being courted through explicit, aggressive marketing” on Instagram, the suit says.

“In addition to hundreds of images depicting and glorifying the thrill of combat, Daniel Defense used Instagram to extol the illegal, murderous use of its weapons,” the lawsuit says. “Within weeks of downloading Modern Warfare, the Shooter was browsing assault weapons, acquiring firearm attachments popularized by the game, and returning repeatedly to Daniel Defense’s website.”

A resident arrives for a news conference with families of the victims of the Uvalde elementary school shooting, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Uvalde, Texas. The families of 19 of the victims announced a lawsuit against nearly 100 state police officers who were part of the botched law enforcement response. The families say they also agreed a $2 million settlement with the city, under which city leaders promised higher standards and better training for local police. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A resident arrives for a news conference with families of the victims of the Uvalde elementary school shooting, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Uvalde, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The legal actions were filed just days after the victims’ families announced they reached a $2 million settlement with the city.

 

 

 

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