Robert Jourdain had been drinking for hours before he walked into a Walmart store early in the morning of July 5 and bought a box of .38-caliber ammunition, court papers say.
Shortly before 3 a.m., Jourdain, then 20, left the Northampton Crossings shopping center in Lower Nazareth Township and got into the white Mercedes Benz sport utility vehicle where Todd West was waiting with a Smith & Wesson revolver. Within an hour, West allegedly used the bullets to kill three people in a random shooting spree on the streets of Easton and Allentown.
The victims' families have filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia against Walmart that one expert says could succeed despite federal protections for gun and ammo dealers. The families claim Walmart and its employees were negligent in selling the ammunition to Jourdain because they should have known he was too young to buy it legally and was mentally impaired by alcohol.
"The bottom line here is that Walmart sold .38-caliber handgun ammunition to an underage person in the middle of the night, and that ammunition was used to kill several people," said Philadelphia attorney Matt Casey, who filed the suit last week.
Members of my family work in the bar business. If a bartender serves alcohol to a person who is clearly inebriated and then that person is involved in a fatal car accident the bar can be held legally responsible.
Same thing seems reasonable when it comes to selling bullets.
In fact I would like to see similar laws in place not only about alcohol, but also concerning a person who is clearly agitated, making verbal threats, or appearing in any other way unhinged or potentially dangerous.
After all these are bullets they are selling people, not baby aspirin.