A Walmart worker who was shot during last week’s mass murder at a Virginia store has filed a $50 million lawsuit, saying she wrote a formal complaint about the shooter’s “bizarre” behavior two months ago and did not nothing was done about it.
Donya Prioleau was in the break room at the Walmart Supercenter in Chesapeake when the gunman barged in and began shooting on Nov. 22. She ran out of the room as bullets whizzed past her head, “almost missing her,” says a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Chesapeake Circuit Court.
Six people died and several more were injured. The suspect, Andre Bing, a 31-year-old leader of the night crew, committed suicide.
The lawsuit alleges that Walmart should have known that Bing “was violent and could harm others” after the store received numerous reports about him, including a formal complaint that Prioleau wrote on September 10.
In the complaint, she said Bing had “bizarrely and inappropriately commented” on her age by asking, “Isn’t your lady’s clock ticking? Shouldn’t you have kids?” The lawsuit says she also complained to the store that he allegedly “harassed her for being poor and short.”
The same day that Prioleau filed the complaint, her mother visited the store and asked the manager if anything could be done about Bing’s behavior and expressed concern for her daughter’s safety, the lawsuit says. The document claims that the manager told Prioleau’s mother that nothing could be done because Bing “was liked by management.”
Walmart said in a statement that it was reviewing the lawsuit and “responding as appropriate with the court.”
“The entire Walmart family is heartbroken at the loss of our valued team members,” the company said Tuesday. “Our deepest condolences go out to our associates and all those affected, including those who were injured. We are focused on supporting all of our associates with significant resources, including counseling.”
The lawsuit details other incidents involving Bing, including one in which he allegedly asked Prioleau if he liked guns. He also told his colleagues and managers that he would retaliate if they ever fired him and repeatedly asked his coworkers if they had received active shooter training from him, according to the lawsuit.
“When the coworkers said yes, Mr. Bing just smiled and walked away without saying anything,” he says. “According to information and belief, Mr. Bing had a personal vendetta against several Walmart employees and kept a ‘kill list’ of potential targets prior to the shooting.”
Bing was demoted for “inappropriate and disruptive interactions” with his colleagues, but was later reinstated as team leader, according to the lawsuit, which did not provide further details.
Police have said that a A ‘death note’ was found on Bing’s phone that identified the people with whom he had problems and complaints. In the note, he allegedly said he felt harassed, betrayed and mocked.
City officials identified the victims as Lorenzo Gamble, 43; Brian Pendleton, 38; Kellie Pyle, 52; Randall Blevins, 70; and Tyneka Johnson, 22; and Fernando Chávez-Barrón, 16.
The massacre was the deadliest store shooting since May, when a white gunman fatally shot 10 black people in a racist shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, according to an NBC News tally.