LEESBURG, Va. (CN) – Parents of two slain Virginia Tech students say two gun dealers and a court clerk allowed shooter Seung-Hui Cho to illegally purchase the handguns he used in the campus massacre. They claim the clerk in Virginia’s Montgomery County Court never notified the state’s Central Criminal Records Exchange that Cho had been committed to therapy as mentally ill and was a danger to himself – which made it possible for him to buy the guns he used to kill 32 people and wound 17 on April 16, 2007.
According to the complaint: “On December1 3, 2005 Seung-Hui Cho (Cho) was adjudicated in the General District Court for Montgomery County, Virginia as a person suffering from a mental illness and an imminent danger to himself and others.
“He was again adjudicated mentally ill and a danger to himself in that court on December 14,2005 and committed to a course of outpatient therapy for as long as might be required.
“Under the Virginia law then existing, once committed under an order for therapy, the clerk of the General District Court was to perform a ministerial act of sending a record of such commitment to the Virginia Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE).
“Defendant Polly Myers was a clerk of the General District Court of Montgomery County, Virginia on December 14, 2005.
“Defendant Myers did not forward a copy of the order of commitment to the CCRE.
“Thereafter, Cho purchased two handguns, a 9mm Glock from Defendant Roanoke Firearms, Inc. on March 12, 2007 and a 22 caliber Walther from Defendant TGSCOM, Inc. and Defendant Joe Dowdy, individually, and/or trading as J-N-D Pawnbrokers, acting as agent for TGSCOM, Inc. for the sale in question, on February 2. 2007.
“The guns were purchased illegally in that Cho was ineligible to purchase handguns under both Virginia and Federal Law.”
Named as defendants in Loudoun County Court are Roanoke Firearms, TGSCOM, Joe Dowdy dba J-N-D Pawnbrokers, and Polly Myers.
The parents seek $1 million in damages for mental anguish, loss of income and funeral expenses. They are represented by Robert Hall with Hall Sickles.