PHOENIX (CN) – Wal-Mart sold ammunition to a man who gunned down two female college students in Tempe early the next morning, in violation of the company’s policy not to sell ammo past 11 p.m., the parents of the slain women claim in Superior Court. They say the retailer then destroyed the surveillance video showing the man buying ammunition.
Joshua Mendel shot and killed Carol Schiffman, a sophomore at the University of Maryland, and Nicole Kestenbaum, a sophomore at Arizona State University, on Feb. 18, 2007 at the Lakeview at the Bay Apartments where Kestenbaum lived. Mendel then killed himself.
According to the lawsuit, Mendel told his roommate that he was going to a Wal-Mart in Tempe around 1:30 a.m. His roommate did not see him return home until 3:30 a.m. Mendel was seen on surveillance entering and leaving Wal-Mart between 2:13 a.m. and 2:35 a.m. and was “under the influence of drugs and alcohol and carrying a back pack,” the suit claims.
Mendel was allegedly able to buy ammunition from Wal-Mart despite its policy that ammunition is not to be sold after 11 p.m. Wal-Mart was directed by the Tempe Police Department to keep its interior store surveillance video, but destroyed it, the complaint states. Police allegedly found an empty bullet box in Mendel’s bedroom and determined it was a brand sold at Wal-Mart.
Schiffman and Kestenbaum attended John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, N.Y. and were best friends.
The plaintiffs are represented by Robert Lewis and Christopher Treadway of Allen & Lewis and Johnny Sorenson and James Nolan of The Sorenson Law Firm.