It’s a little akin to a lottery winner generously tipping the convenience store that sold him the winning ticket, except in reverse. Two Milwaukee police officers who were shot by an armed and irrational bike rider sued the gun store that sold the weapon used in the crime. On Tuesday, a jury awarded the pair a cool $6 million dollars.
In 2009, Officers Graham Kunisch and Bryan Norberg stopped Julius Burton for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. But Burton pulled out a gun and shot both officers in the face. The cops later held the gun shop responsible, and a jury agreed Tuesday, ruling the store was negligent for selling the gun to a “straw buyer,” someone who buys a gun for a person not legally allowed to buy one on their own, WISN reports.
Jason Collins, the “straw buyer,” purchased the gun for Burton, who was underage. A video of the purchase shows Burton and Collins at the store together as Burton obviously points at one of the guns and says “that’s the one that I want.”
The jury ruled that the gun shop should have seen the signs and refused to sell the gun.
“I want gun dealers to be on notice,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barret told WISN. “They have a responsibility. They have a responsibility to make sure individuals cannot legally possess guns or get their hands on guns.”
Though both officers survived the incident, Kunisch lost an eye, part of his frontal lobe and says the injuries forced him into retirement. Norberg lost eight teeth when the bullet went into his mouth, exited his cheek and then landed in his shoulder.
A jury found Tuesday that Badger Guns, the store that sold the weapon used in the shooting, was liable and ordered that it pay Kunisch $3.6 million and Norber $1.5 million plus $730,000 in punitive damages.
Burton pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree attempted intentional homicide and is serving an 80-year prison sentence. Collins received a two-year sentence.
This report, by Casey Harper, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.