The widow of fallen Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Wisconsin against online gun site that facilitated the sale of the gun utilized to kill her husband.
Erin Bauer files a federal lawsuit two years after the tragic death of her husband, who died protecting his city, claiming a Pennsylvania-based Armslist was "irresponsible, negligent, reckless and intentional" in its actions, choosing to "place profits over people by creating and maintaining an Internet gun marketplace that routinely armed the criminal gun market, and a Chicago police commander who died as a result."
“If the Armslist Defendants had acted with reasonable care – instead of callous and wilful disregard of human life – Commander Bauer would still be alive,” states the complaint.
Bauer’s attorneys indicate that Armslist facilitates the sale of thousands of weapons, claiming to be the largest online marketplace for firearms.
Bauer’s final act of courage brought heartbreak and shock as the 31-year police veteran was shot and killed while chasing a suspect down a staircase.
NBC 5 Investigates reported that the gun used in the slaying of Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer had its origins at a gun store in Wisconsin 9 years ago, passing through multiple owners before it found its way into the hands of Shomari Legghette, who was charged last week with Bauer’s murder.
An intensive trace by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, indicates the gun, a Glock 26, was first purchased legally at PT Firearms in Cross Plains, Wisconsin in December of 2011. The trace was first reported Wednesday by the Chicago Tribune, and a source close to the federal investigation confirmed the accuracy of that report.
The original owner sold the weapon in March of 2015 to a fellow member at an area sportsmen’s club near Madison. That man reportedly provided investigators with evidence of numerous transactions, and indicated he had sold the weapon to a buyer in Milwaukee in 2017, who he’d met on the internet site armslist.com, a site which does not require background checks.
It wasn’t clear how the gun found its way from Wisconsin to Chicago. But a trace of the shell casings revealed that the weapon had also been used in a shooting in July of 2017, when a man was shot in the side as he sat in a car at Garland Court and Lower Wacker Place.
Seven months later, the gun was allegedly used to kill Bauer in a stairwell of the Thompson Center in the Loop. The longtime Chicago commander was hit six times.