One of the survivors of the mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, last week filed a $50 million lawsuit against the company on Tuesday, alleging the company knew the store manager—who is suspected of killing six employees in a breakroom—had “known propensities for violence” and continued to employ him anyway.
Plaintiff Donya Prioleau, who works at the Walmart, claimed Andre Bing—the 31-year-old store manager who police say targeted specific employees in the attack—“demonstrated a pattern of disturbing behavior” before the shooting, in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Chesapeake Circuit Court.
The lawsuit states the company disciplined Bing “on several occasions” and demoted him over “improper and disturbing” interactions he had, but reinstated him to his lead position.
Prioleau also said “many Walmart employees and managers” had seen Bing exhibit “bizarre and threatening behavior” and that she had filed an internal complaint in September after he “bizarrely and inappropriately” commented about her age.
Walmart management had received reports of Bing’s “bullying, threatening and harassing” of other employees, Prioleau alleges, adding the company should have known Bing was “violent and could harm others.”
Prioleau—who was working at the store at the time of the attack and said she injured her knee and elbow while escaping after bullets “whizzed by” her face—said she has experienced and will continue to deal with “severe pain and suffering,” as well as medical bills, as a result of the shooting.
Police allege Bing purchased a 9-millimeter pistol he used in the shooting just hours before he opened fire on his coworkers before killing himself last Tuesday shortly after 10 p.m. Additional information about the shooting suspect emerged in the days after the attack, revealing that Bing was a “disgruntled employee” who had no prior criminal history, according to Chesapeake Mayor Rick West. The city said in a note on his phone, Bing said he planned to spare certain workers, writing that his intent was “never to murder anyone,” before adding, “My God forgive me for what I’m going to do.” Walmart issued a statement the morning after the shooting, writing, “we are shocked at this tragic event,” and that the company is working closely with law enforcement.
The shooting in Chesapeake came just three days after another gunman opened fire at Club Q in Colorado Springs, killing five people and injuring two dozen. The suspected shooter, identified as Anderson Lee Aldrich, also potentially skirted the state’s red-flag law, which is designed to allow state courts to seize firearms from people determined to be dangerous to themselves or others. Aldrich, who has been charged with five counts of murder and hate crimes, is believed to be the same person who threatened their mother with a homemade bomb and weapons in June 2021, according to police reports—although local police have not confirmed whether it’s the same person.