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Gun-Maker Sued In Sandy Hook Shooting Wants The School Records Of Slain Children

A mourner kneels beside 26 teddy bears, each representing a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, at a sidewalk memorial in 2012 in Newtown, Conn.
David Goldman
A mourner kneels beside 26 teddy bears, each representing a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, at a sidewalk memorial in 2012 in Newtown, Conn.

Lawyers for Remington Arms, the now-bankrupt gun-maker being sued by nine families of those killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., have subpoenaed the academic, attendance and disciplinary records for five slain students.

In response, attorneys for the families of the five students and four educators killed on Dec. 14, 2012, who have filed suit, asked the court on Thursday to seal their confidential records, the Connecticut Post reports.

Remington also requested employment files for the educators whose families are involved in the case, according to the Hartford Courant.

Adam Lanza killed 26 people — 20 children and six adults — at the school before killing himself. Earlier, he had killed his mother at their home. The massacre ranks among the worst school shootings in U.S. history.

Remington, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018 and again last year, manufactured the Bushmaster assault-style AR-15 rifle that was used in the shooting.

The families sued Remington for wrongful death, accusing it of having recklessly marketed the military-grade Bushmaster to civilians. Remington has argued that the Bushmaster is a legal firearm and that the sale of the one used in the school shooting to Lanza's mother was legal.

NPR received no immediate response for comment from Remington, nor from a lawyer representing the company.

The families' lead attorney, Joshua Koskoff, said Remington's subpoenas covered the kindergarten and first-grade records for the five student victims whose families are suing — Jesse Lewis, Daniel Barden, Dylan Hockley, Benjamin Wheeler and Noah Pozner, the Courant reports.

Koskoff said there was "no explanation" for the decision by Remington to seek the records. "The records cannot possibly excuse Remington's egregious marketing conduct, or be of any assistance in estimating the catastrophic damages in this case," he said, according to the Post. "The only relevant part of their attendance records is that they were at their desks on December 14, 2012."

In a motion, Koskoff asked presiding Judge Barbara Bellis to expand a confidentiality order issued previously to cover the records, calling Remington's subpoenas an irrelevant invasion of privacy, according to the Courant.

In July, Remington offered a $33 million settlement. The plaintiffs have yet to respond to the offer, the Post says.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: September 2, 2021 at 9:00 PM PDT
A previous version of this story incorrectly said the Sandy Hook shooter killed 26 people including his mother. He actually killed a total of 27 — his mother at home and 20 children and six staffers at the school.
Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.