EVERETT — A new lawsuit against convicted killer Allen Ivanov and his parents also seeks accountability from the store where he bought the semi-automatic rifle used in the shooting deaths of three Kamiak High School graduates.
The suit was filed earlier this month by David Bui, whose younger sister Anna Bui was one of the people Ivanov murdered. Other defendants are Ivanov’s parents and the former owners of the Mukilteo house where the shooting happened during the summer of 2016. It’s the second wrongful death lawsuit brought in the case.
“At the time of her death, Anna Bui was a bright, smart and happy 19-year-old female college student with aspirations of becoming a doctor,” the complaint says. “She was living in Everett, Washington, with her siblings and parents.”
Bui was one of four siblings. Her family was active in the St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, where she sang in the choir.
Also shot dead were Jordan Ebner and Jacob Long, both 19. Another acquaintance, then-18-year-old Will Kramer, was wounded by gunfire, but survived.
Ivanov, 22, is serving a life sentence at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.
Ivanov bought an AR-15-style Ruger rifle from the Cabela’s store at Quil Ceda Village a few days before he used it in the shooting. He returned to the store to buy another magazine for the rifle, according to the suit.
“On the day Allen Ivanov purchased the gun, he walked into Cabela’s and walked out with the gun in less than an hour,” the suit says. “He was surprised by how easy it was to obtain the weapon and later referred to it as an impulse purchase.”
Attorney Erica Buckley of Seattle is representing Bui’s estate.
Representatives for Cabela’s parent company, Bass Pro Shops, headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, did not return calls or an email seeking comment for this story. As of Friday, the company’s attorneys had not filed any response in court. Neither had the other defendants named in the Oct. 15 complaint.
The wrongful death suit comes as Washington state voters are considering Initiative 1639, a ballot measure that would bar anyone under the age of 21 from buying a semi-automatic rifle like the one used in the Mukilteo shooting. The initiative also proposes to toughen background checks for purchasing semi-automatic rifles and to require safer storage of all firearms. Paul Kramer, the father of Will Kramer, is a leader of the initiative effort.
Anna Bui had dated Ivanov for about a year and a half, but broke off the relationship. They both attended the University of Washington in Bothell.
The suit claims Ivanov’s parents, with whom he lived, knew he had a gun. It says his mother knew he had a history of mental illness and suicide threats.
“Allen Ivanov’s friends, including victim Anna Bui, had recently warned Anna Ivanov of her son’s increasingly strange behavior and suicide threats,” the complaint contends.
The suit claims Allen Ivanov and his father, Dimitri Ivanov, examined the gun and read the manual together. It also alleges that his mother contacted Cabela’s before the shooting in an attempt to have the gun returned, but a Cabela’s employee told her the store would not accept the weapon.
“Cabela’s knew, or should have known, that Ivanov was likely to use the gun and ammunition in a manner involving unreasonable risk of harm to himself and others,” the suit says.
The suit names an additional set of defendants, Karl and Victoria Bratvold. They owned the home on 64th Place West, in Mukilteo’s Chennault Beach neighborhood, where the shooting occurred. The legal complaint attempts to hold them liable for allowing alcohol to be served at their home to people under 21, including to Bui, and alleges that alcohol consumption played a role in her death. The house sold last year for more than $1.3 million.
The Bratvolds’ son Tristan attended Kamiak with Ivanov and the shooting victims. In his written guilty plea, Ivanov identified their son by name as someone he shot at, but didn’t hit.
About 20 friends and acquaintances attended the party. Most knew one another from attending Kamiak.
Ivanov sat outside the party in his car for about two hours watching before the shooting began, according to the lawsuit. Outside the house, Ivanov shot Long and Ebner, wounded Will Kramer and tried to shoot others.
“I did not know who they were at the time I fired the rifle,” Ivanov wrote in his plea. “I fired the rifle with the purpose to kill whomever I hit.”
He entered the home to find Bui sitting with others around a dining room table. The wrongful death lawsuit attempts to establish that she was intoxicated and that prevented her from getting away.
“All the other people around the table escaped being shot,” the suit says.
The complaint asks for unspecified damages to be proven at trial.
Another wrongful death suit against Ivanov and his parents is pending in Snohomish County Superior Court. It was filed in June by Long’s mother, Autumn Snider. Ivanov has not responded to the allegations, according to court paperwork.
Other court filings show that the killer’s parents divorced in 2015. They released a statement after the shooting expressing sorrow for the victims and their families.
The Ivanovs have asked the court to dismiss them from the suit over Long’s death. They argue that parents are not responsible for the intentional acts of adult children under Washington state law.
“Allen Ivanov legally purchased the rifle and ammunition at Cabela’s,” their motion says. “The Ivanovs had no legal right to stop that sale, or to prevent Allen from owning the gun.”
A hearing on that motion was cancelled last week and has yet to be rescheduled.