Parents of slain Bronx teen Angellyh Yambo sue manufacturer of ghost gun components

The parents of a 16-year-old Bronx honors student who was gunned down leaving school in 2022 have sued the company that sold the components of the ghost gun allegedly used to kill her.

Angellyh Yambo’s parents said they hope their suit will hold ghost gun manufacturers accountable for killings involving their products. It echoes arguments made by the families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, who sued Remington, the maker of the rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six educators in 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.

The suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court earlier this week alleges the manufacturer of the un-serialized and untraceable gun kit, Polymer80, is as culpable for Yambo’s death as the teenager who shot her.

Yambo’s mother Yanely Henriquez said in an interview with Gothamist on Friday that gun sellers make getting a gun as easy as ordering a pair of sneakers.

“You could just go online, you purchase it, and it gets delivered to your house,” she said. “That shouldn’t be like that. If you sold the kit, you need to be held responsible for that.”

Yambo had just left her South Bronx high school when Jeremiah Ryan, who was in a dispute with two men, fired six shots, striking and killing her and wounding two other 17-year-olds. Ryan, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison last year.

Law enforcement officials in New York have issued warnings about ghost guns for years. A person with a 3D printer can download blueprints for the guns online, then assemble a gun with no serial number at home, without having to undergo a background check.

State Attorney General Letitia James earlier this month won $7.8 million from a ghost gun company that had illegally shipped weapons components to the state. The company was banned from doing business in New York.

Nevada-based Polymer80 advertises a variety of gun parts and accessories, including frames, slides, holsters and full building kits. According to Yambo family attorney Anthony Beneduce, the 9mm pistol used to kill Yambo was made with a frame that Polymer80 advertises in three different colors, though a disclaimer on their website says the part cannot be shipped to 14 states, including New York.

“If it wasn’t for this manufacturer flooding our country and specifically our streets in New York with these ghost guns… the 17-year-old at the time would not have an opportunity to have gotten his hands on this weapon,” Beneduce said. “It was not just a cause, it was the cause.”

Polymer80 CEO Loran Kelly Jr. did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

For years, federal law has made it difficult to sue gun companies.

New York passed a law in 2021 that created a legal path for lawsuits against the gun industry if a company “knowingly or recklessly” markets or sells its firearms in a way that endangers the safety or health of the public. One of the victims in the 2022 mass shooting on the New York City subway used the law to sue Glock, which made the pistol that was used to shoot 10 passengers. That lawsuit is on pause while a challenge to the 2021 law brought by gunmakers makes its way through the courts.

Beneduce said Yambo’s family is hoping to “punch” Polymer80 by seeking financial compensation for their daughter’s death. They’re also hoping a judge will bar the company from continuing to sell products online.

“[Angellyh] had dreams of graduating, becoming an entrepreneur, having her own business, driving a Tesla, which was her favorite car,” her mother Henriquez said. “Now all those are just dreams. We had a very very close bond, and that’s what makes it so hard.”

At Yambo’s funeral, devastated mourners had expressed shock and anger at the fact that she was killed with a ghost gun. She was buried in the pink sparkly dress she’d worn at her own Sweet 16 party just three months before she died.

“She always used to say, ‘Mom, you got this.’” Henriquez said. “And that keeps me moving, it keeps me motivated. I don’t want to see another mother broken, another family broken, you know?”

Samantha Max contributed reporting.

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