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Widow of slain Chicago police commander sues gun-selling website, lawsuit filed in Milwaukee

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 16: Chicago police stand outside of the Nativity of Our Lord church in the Bridgeport neighborhood to honor Commander Paul Bauer as his remains are carried into the church on February 16, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Bauer was shot and killed on February 13, while trying to help stop a man being pursued by tactical officers in the city's downtown. Bauer's funeral is scheduled for tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — The widow of a slain Chicago Police Department commander filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the website used to sell the gun tied to her husband’s death.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports Erin Bauer and the nonprofit gun control group Brady filed the lawsuit against Armslist.com in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee.

The 9-millimeter Glock pistol allegedly used to kill Cmdr. Paul Bauer in 2018 was sold by a Madison, Wisconsin resident to a Milwaukee resident. The lawsuit claims the gun later made its way through the “criminal marketplace” to Shomari Legghette, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Paul Bauer, 53. Bauer was shot six times as he chased a suspect in non-fatal shooting that took place days earlier.

The lawsuit alleges Armslist negligently allowed sales of weapons without background checks. Jonathan Lowy, chief counsel for Brady, contends other websites have features preventing unlicensed sellers from selling guns to customers who are legally barred from owning firearms.

“We can’t know what would have happened if Armslist was not negligent … but we do know what did happen: someone who should not have had a gun was able to get one, and a police commander is dead,” Lowy said.

The lawsuit seeks both financial damages and injunctions to force Armslist to change its practices.

Armslist officials haven’t responded to requests for comment.

Legghette is scheduled to go on trial later this year.

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