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Friday, July 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Wis. Store Settles With Cops Shot by Illegal Gun

(CN) - Two police officers who survived bullets to their heads reached a $1 million settlement with the Wisconsin gun shop that sold the guns used against them.

A jury had ordered Badger Guns to pay Milwaukee officers Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch more than $5 million, but the settlement reached late Friday scuttles what would have been a lengthy appeal.

Norberg and Kunisch had brought the case after a man they stopped for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk in 2009 responded by shooting both policemen in their faces.

It had been their first night on patrol.

The law required buyers of handguns to be at least 21 years old, but Burton was 18 at the time of the weapon's purchase from Badger Guns.

Burton has been serving 80 years in prison and testified for the officers when they took Badger Guns to trial this past October.

Though Norberg has continued to work as a police officer since the shooting, Kunisch lost an eye and had to retire.

Burton had paid his straw buyer, Jared Collins, $60 to buy the gun.

Collins pleaded guilty and received a two-year sentence.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Kunisch will receive $216,120 of the $1 million settlement. Norberg will receive $74,427.

Having paid $652,000 to the officers in workers' compensation claims, the city of Milwaukee will take $387,000 from the settlement, the paper reported.

The officers had been represented by Patrick Dunphy of Cannon & Dunphy in Brookfield. Though the firm has not returned a request for comment, it is reported to receive about $193,000, with the rest of the settlement covering other costs.

Badger Guns attorney James Vogts has not returned a request for comment either but told the Sun-Sentinel: "This case is over."

Despite that claim, Badger Guns does still face a separate lawsuit from two other Milwaukee cops who were shot in an unrelated incident.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revoked Badger Guns' license in 2011.

A Google search lists Badger Guns as "permanently closed," but lists a business called Brew City Shooters Supply, a gun shop and shooting range, at the same address.

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