A group of families are suing a Philadelphia-area Walmart for allegedly selling ammunition to an intoxicated 20-year-old, who turned over the bullets to his cousin for an Independence Day shooting spree that left three people dead.
The victims' families accuse the Walmart Supercenter and its employees of carrying out the sale "without conduct[ing] any basic questioning" to see if Robert Jourdain, the alleged purchaser, was at least 21 years old "as required by law," according to the lawsuit.
They also claim Jourdain was "mentally incapacitated by drugs and/or alcohol" at the time of the purchase, having spent "at least four hours" in a bar before he walked in.
Jourdain allegedly proceeded to give the .38 caliber ammunition to his cousin, Todd West, who later admitted to randomly shooting and killing three people in the early hours after the Fourth of July in and around Allentown, Pa.
"[The defendants] knew or should have known that Mr. Jourdain intended or was likely to use the bullets to kill other persons or to create an unreasonable risk of harm to others and the general public," the lawsuit says.
Walmart national media relations director Randy Hargrove told me by phone that the cashier followed proper protocol, saying Jourdain indicated the ammo was going to be used for a rifle, which only requires the buyer to be 18. He also said Walmart saw no indication Jourdain was intoxicated at the time of the purchase.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.