Uvalde families sue makers of AR-15, ‘Call of Duty,’ Meta over elementary school mass shooting

Families of the victims killed in the 2022 Uvalde, Texas, mass shooting are suing Meta Platforms, which owns Instagram, the publisher of the video game “Call of Duty” and Daniel Defense, the makers of AR-15 assault rifles.

The civil death lawsuits, filed on the second anniversary of the massacre, accuse the companies of being an “unholy trinity” that is working “to convert alienated teenage boys into mass shooters,” including 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. On the afternoon of May 24, 2022, Ramos entered Robb Elementary School through an unlocked door and barricaded himself inside a classroom for nearly an hour.

Ramos killed two teachers and 19 students before he was fatally shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

According to the two complaints, filed in California and in Texas, Ramos downloaded the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” in November 2021. Months later, about a week before the school shooting, he purchased a DDM4 V7, a firearm featured in the game, which acts as “a teaser for players eager to try out the weapon,” one of the lawsuits alleges.

“Mere minutes after midnight on May 16—the Shooter’s 18th birthday—he purchased a DDM4V7,” it says. “Eight days later, the Shooter inflicted unspeakable violence at Robb Elementary School, killing 21 and injuring and traumatizing many more.”

Around the same time, Ramos “was being courted through explicit, aggressive marketing” on Instagram, the suit says.

“In addition to hundreds of images depicting and glorifying the thrill of combat, Daniel Defense used Instagram to extol the illegal, murderous use of its weapons,” the lawsuit says. “Within weeks of downloading Modern Warfare, the Shooter was browsing assault weapons, acquiring firearm attachments popularized by the game, and returning repeatedly to Daniel Defense’s website.”

The legal actions were filed just days after the victims’ families announced they reached a $2 million settlement with the city.