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Seeking Justice for the Families of Two Virginia High Schoolers Killed by Classmate Using a Polymer80, Inc. Ghost Gun the Shooter Purchased Online

Van Pelt, et al. v. Salvo Technologies, Inc. d/b/a 80P Builder, et al.


On April 25, 2021, two 17-year-old Virginia high school students, Calvin Van Pelt and Ersheen Elaiaiser, were shot and killed by their 18-year-old classmate with an unserialized, self-assembled ghost gun. Their estates have filed a lawsuit against the parties responsible for this senseless killing: 

  1. Salvo Technologies, Inc. and BUL USA, LLC, owners of 80P Builder, the website that packaged and sold the ghost gun kit to the shooter without a background check or age verification. 
  2. Polymer80, Inc., a ghost gun manufacturer that creates and distributes unserialized pistol frame kits that are then resold, without a background check, and assembled into untraceable firearms, including the one used in this case.
  3. Zackary Burkard, the then-18-year-old shooter who killed Calvin and Ersheen. 

The shooting occurred following a dispute between the teens and their friends on social media. A friend of the shooter invited Calvin and Ersheen over to his house to settle the dispute. At the end of a fistfight between Ersheen and another unarmed teenager, the shooter appeared from the basement and shot Ersheen in the chest and Calvin in the back. Both were unarmed and died from their injuries. 

The 18-year-old shooter was able to obtain a Polymer80 handgun from 80P Builder despite federal laws that (1) require licensed firearm sellers to conduct background checks and (2) prohibit the purchase of handguns by individuals under the age of 21. The lawsuit alleges that 80P Builder’s and Polymer80’s unlawful business practices negligently resulted in the shooter’s possession of a handgun that he should not have been able to purchase and thereby caused Calvin’s and Ersheen’s deaths.

The lawsuit was filed by Weiner, Spivey & Miller, PLC, with Everytown Law serving as co-counsel against Defendants Salvo Technologies, BUL USA, and Burkard only.

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