On the night of October 27, 2012, 18-year-old Benjamin Bishop of Oldsmar, FL shot and killed his mother, nursing assistant Imari Shibata, and her boyfriend, Kelley Allen, a popular area swim coach. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Bishop then called 911 and admitted to the murders.
According to the Brady Center’s lawsuit for the families of the victims, Bishop had attempted to buy a shotgun at Oldsmar gun dealer Lock N Load. The complaint alleges that Bishop, who suffers from schizophrenia and had a history of drug abuse and violent behavior, was denied a sale because of a criminal record, but that the dealer later sold the gun to an 18-year-old friend who came to the store with Bishop. According to the complaint, Bishop later returned to the store a third time and was sold ammunition for the shotgun.
The Brady Center and the law firm White & Case filed suit against Lock N Load for the families of Kelley Allen and Imari Shibata on October 16, 2014. The suit alleges that Lock N Load was negligent in providing the gun to Bishop’s friend, failed to take simple steps to determine whether he was the actual buyer of the shotgun, and breached its duty to use reasonable care in selling lethal weapons like firearms and ammunition.
Lock N Load filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on November 11, 2014. At a hearing on the motion on February 23, 2015, the judge denied the dealer’s motion to dismiss on all but one count of the complaint, and asked the plaintiffs to amend their complaint to add additional detail on two other counts. The case is now entering discovery. Evan Goldenberg and Adam Schwartzbaum of White & Case LLP in Miami are is co-counsel for the families of the victims with Jonathan Lowy, Kelly Sampson, and Alla Lefkowitz of the Brady Center. .
Evan Goldenberg of White & Case LLP in Miami is co-counsel for the families of the victims with Jonathan Lowy, Kelly Sampson, and Alla Lefkowitz of the Brady Center.
Read the press release announcing the case: Brady Center Sues Florida Gun Dealer Lock N Load for Selling Straw Purchased Gun Used in Double Homicide.