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Texas school shooting: Special education teacher considers lawsuit against gun manufacturer

UVALDE, Texas — A special education teacher at Robb Elementary who survived the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers on May 24, has petitioned a court to require the manufacturer of the gun used in the massacre to sit for a deposition.

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Emilia “Amy” Marin filed the petition Thursday, which would require gunmaker Daniel Defense to sit for a deposition, as well as produce materials related to profits, lobbying, sales and marketing of AR-15-style rifles, NPR reported.

The petition is not only asking about the specific AR-15-style rifle carried by the gunman in Uvalde, but also information about four other AR-15-style rifles that were found in the hotel room of the shooter who killed 60 people in Las Vegas in 2017, The San Antonio Express-News reported. Marin’s attorney, Don Flanary, told NPR that they want to look at whether Daniel Defense changed its marketing after the Las Vegas mass shooting.

Marin had been walking outside the school, helping a co-worker bring food inside, when she saw the gunman’s vehicle crash, and was the teacher who was initially accused of leaving the door through which the gunman entered propped open with a rock, CNN reported. The Texas Department of Public Safety later clarified that the door had not been propped open, and instead said that the door had been closed but had not locked, for unknown reasons. Video footage from the school showed Marin shutting the door, DPS said.

>> Read: Teacher did not leave door propped open before shooter’s entry, officials say

Flanary told CNN that Marin has no plans to sue the school, the district or the police.

“Going after the police officers who made a mistake isn’t going to prevent it from happening at other places,” Flanary told NPR. “She feels like if we go this direction, we can make a change.”

Mikal Watts, a San Antonio attorney, told the Express-News that he and other attorneys have been contacted by victim’s families about looking into potential claims against Daniel Defense.

In February, Remington and the families of nine of the shooting victims at Sandy Hook Elementary agreed to a $73 million settlement, NPR reported. In that case, lawyers had argued that Remington, who manufactured the firearm used in the Sandy Hook massacre, had marketed their guns using a “lone gunman” narrative, NPR reported.

Daniel Defense has used video games like “Call of Duty” and popular characters from “Star Wars” as well as Santa Claus in some of its advertisements, The New York Times reported.

State police said that the DDM4 V7 made by Daniel Defense was one of two AR-style semi-automatic rifles the gunman purchased before going into Robb Elementary. The DDM4 V7 was the gun found next to his body when he was killed, the Express-News reported.

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