A Missouri appeals court says a civil case can proceed against a gun shop visited by the lunatic who opened fire in the parking lot of Ward Parkway Center.
On April 24, 2007, David Logsdon used a stolen credit card to buy firearm magazines from the Bullet Hole in Overland Park. The card belonged to his neighbor, Patricia Reed, whom Logsdon is thought to have beaten to death before moving into her home.
Logsdon was driving Reed's car on April 29 when a Kansas City, Missouri, police officer, James Payton, attempted to stop him at Bannister Road convenience store. Logsdon and the officer struggled for the weapons Logsdon was carrying. Both men took bullets. Payton wrested two guns from Logsdon before he sped away.
Logsdon drove to the Ward Parkway shopping center. Using an M1 carbine, which had belonged to Reed's late husband, he fatally shot Leslie Noble Ballew of Kansas City and Luke A. Nilges of Shawnee before entering the mall, bleeding from his earlier wound.
Police Sergeant Michael Griggs, one of the first to arrive on the scene, killed Logsdon with two shotgun blasts. (Payton and Griggs later received medals of valor.)
The parents of Ballew and Nilges each sued Shawnee Gun Shop, the Bullet Hole's parent company, in Jackson County, alleging negligence. Last summer, Judge David M. Byrn dismissed the cases, citing a lack of jurisdiction over a Kansas company.
Today, however, the Missouri Court of Appeals in the Western District released a decision saying that Byrn erred.
The court decided that the Bullet Hole, which advertises its status as "Kansas City's largest shooting range," had a reasonable expectation that its alleged negligence could be felt in Missouri.
In its opinion, the appeals court cited other cases in which so-called long-arm jurisdictions have applied to situations in which drunk people have acted stupidly after crossing state lines.