Victims of the Sandy Hook shooting are suing.
As the nation reels from yet another horrific act of gun violence at a school, the horror is never ending for families of previous shooting still fighting for justice, as another character tries to downplay and even outright deny the pain they’ve been through.
Radio personality Alex Jones was slapped with a defamation lawsuit by six families of victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, as well as an FBI agent who responded to the scene, for repeatedly calling the Sandy Hook shooting fake.
Jones, a staunch gun rights advocate and operator of the website Infowars, which regularly spews out conspiracies, has committed “years-long campaign of abusive and outrageous false statements,” according to the lawsuit.
“While the nation recoiled at the terrible reality of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Alex Jones saw an opportunity,” the families’ attorney Josh Koskoff said. “He went on a sustained attack that has lasted for years, accusing shattered family members of being actors, stating as fact that the shooting itself was a hoax and inciting others to act on these malicious lies,” reported Good Morning America.
Twenty children and six teachers died in the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at the Newtown, Connecticut, school.
“As a result of Jones’ campaign,” the families and FBI agent Bill Aldenberg said they have been “forced to endure malicious and cruel abuse at the hands of ruthless unscrupulous people.”
The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Bridgeport, includes Wolfgang Halbig, a Florida man who founded the now-defunct website SandyHookJustice, his associate Cory Sklanka, and Infowars itself, added GMA.
The complainants cite Jones’ public assertions, which included one from Sept. 25, 2014, wherein he said video from the day of the shooting was “clearly staged” because he said there were no emergency helicopters sent to the school, and that allegedly, the same children were cycled in and out of the school.
Jones is also quoted on Jan. 13, 2015, saying ““Yeah, so, Sandy Hook is a synthetic completely fake with actors, in my view, manufactured.”
It is no easy feat to hear these insensitive comments from a man who did not lose a child, a brother, or a sister that day, and the complainants of course found the statements “outrageous, deeply painful and defamatory.”
GMA adds that the plaintiffs are the parents of four children killed at Sandy Hook — Jacqueline and Mark Barden, parents of Daniel; Nicole and Ian Hockley, parents of Dylan; Francine and David Wheeler, parents of Ben; and Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman, parents of Avielle — as well as Donna Soto, Carlee Soto-Parisi, Carlos Soto and Jillian Soto, the mother and siblings of first-grade teacher Victoria Leigh Soto; and Erica Lafferty-Garbatini, the daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, and Aldenberg.