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Crime and Courts

Group Working To End Gun Violence Files Suit Over 2016 Hesston Shooting

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A national group working to end gun violence has filed suit against a Newton pawn shop, according to a news release.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed suit this week on behalf of the family of Josh Higbee, who was killed during a shooting at Hesston’s Excel Industries in 2016. The suit alleges the Newton store, called A Pawn Shop, illegally sold two firearms to Sarah Jo Hopkins, who then gave them to Cedric Ford.

Ford, a convicted felon, was prohibited from owning a gun. Police say Ford killed three people and wounded 14 others during the shooting at Excel, where he was an employee. He was killed by police responding to the shooting.

The suit, filed in Harvey County District Court, says the pawn shop should have known that Hopkins was acting as a “straw purchaser,” meaning she was buying the weapons for Ford.

According to its website, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence “is dedicated to reducing gun injuries and deaths in America by stemming the causes of gun violence.”

It is named for Sarah and Jim Brady, who worked to prevent gun violence after Jim Brady was seriously wounded during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

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Tom Shine is the director of news and public affairs. Follow him on Twitter @thomaspshine

 
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