TAMPA (WFLA) –Bradley Hulett’s father has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of the gun used in a shooting two years ago that killed his 15-year-old son.
“Since Bradley’s death, the Hulett family has only wanted justice for Bradley — and this lawsuit seeks exactly that,” Hulett’s attorney Jonathan Freidin said in a statement sent to WFLA News Channel 8. “We have great faith in the judicial system and are confident that a jury will rule in our favor once they see all the facts.”
The lawsuit alleges SIG Sauer P320 gun owned by Tampa Police Officer Edwin Perez was defective and the firearm discharged the fatal shot without the trigger being pulled.
In December 2019, four teen boys got ahold of Officer Edwin Perez’ personal gun inside his Lithia home while he was away.
“While the boys were handling the P320 firearm, the gun fired without the trigger being pulled,” the new complaint states. “Although the magazine was empty, there was a single, Tampa Police Department-issued bullet in the chamber, and despite all expectations that a gun would not fire without the trigger being pulled, the bullet was shot into the head of Bradley.”
Prosecutors charged one of Bradley’s friends, then 15-year-old Christopher Ramsey Bevan, with manslaughter.
In November, State Attorney Andrew Warren announced they reached a pre-trial resolution with Bradley’s parents to keep the teen out of prison.
“We never wanted to see Ramsey spend a lengthy amount of time in jail,” Bradley’s mother, Meagan Hulett said during a news conference. “All we ever wanted, from the beginning, was for all involved to take responsibility for their part in the death of our son. A few apologies would have went a long way.”
Warren said during his office’s investigation they learned the SIG Sauer P320 had a known design flaw. He said that factored into the decision to allow Bevan to go through the pre-trial program.
Bevan has also agreed to volunteer at the foundation the Hulett family created in their son’s honor to educate children about gun safety.
According to the complaint, SIG Sauer acknowledged in August 2017 that “dropping the P320 … may cause an unintentional discharge.” The company announced a “Voluntary Upgrade” program where P320 owners would receive a free upgrade to a newer version with better safety enhancements.
Despite the modifications, the complaint said the new P320s “suffered from many of the same defective conditions as the original design — i.e., they were still firing without the trigger being pulled.”
Officer Perez was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, but former TPD Chief Brian Dugan suspended him for one week for failing to properly secure the gun in his home.
The lawsuit filed on Dec. 9 in Hillsborough County also names Shoot Straight Tampa, where Perez purchased the P320 gun, and the Tampa Police Department. Mr. Hulett is suing SIG Sauer and Shoot Straight for Strict Liability and Negligence, TPD for negligence and all three for infliction of emotional distress.
“The Tampa Police Department had a duty to warn its officers about defects that it knew or should have known existed in the weapons that police officers registered with the Tampa Police Department,” the complaint said. “This duty extended to the P320 firearm at issue in this case, which Edwin Perez registered with the Tampa Police Department.”
TPD does not comment on pending litigation.
According to the complaint, the Huletts are seeking damages in excess of $30,000. They also want a jury trial.