Authorities in North Carolina are still attempting to determine whether the death of a local teen was caused by a rifle's misfire or an intentional murder. The case could quickly turn into a products liability issue as more information surfaces about structural deficiencies with the gun's trigger mechanism. The Remington Model 700 rifle is known throughout the nation and Montana for its unreliable and unsafe firing features.
It is not clear whether criminal charges will be filed in the case, though that decision could come within the month.
The girl, a 16-year-old high school sophomore, was fatally shot while standing outside a house in southern North Carolina. The bullet, which originated from neighbors across the street, killed the young woman and injured two other victims. Authorities said a 25-year-old suspect admitted to handling the rifle at the time of the event, but he maintains the trigger mechanism fired without warning. He also contends he was not aware the rifle was loaded. Information from the man's family members appears to corroborate his story.
Even though the family may believe the killing may have been racially motivated, the suspect's story aligns with previous evidence. More than 70 suits have been filed against the gun manufacturer for its trigger malfunctions, most of which affect the Remington Model 700. Remington refuses to acknowledge the trigger mechanism is faulty.
Still, the girl's family believes additional investigation may be required before criminal intent can be ruled out in the death. They are understandably frustrated because of the lack of progress during the year that has elapsed since the shooting.
Victims of defective products should consider filing civil suits against the companies that perpetuated their injuries. Even in cases of wrongful death, financial compensation can be obtained to provide for outstanding medical bills, legal costs and funeral expenses, for example. Consider contacting qualified legal professionals to determine your rights.