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Author’s note: This article has been updated with a response from Walmart
A Walmart employee who survived the mass shooting in Chesapeake, Virginia last week has filed a lawsuit against the multi-billion dollar company.
Filing the lawsuit on Tuesday in Chesapeake Circuit Court, Donya Prioleau claims she filed a formal complaint against deceased gunman Andre Bing accusing him of bizarre and inappropriate behavior two months before the deadly mass shooting that took the lives of six victims.
“Prior to the shooting, Mr. Bing had told store employees, including managers, that if he was ever fired, he would retaliate and ‘people will remember my name,’” the lawsuit states.
Prioleau, who had been working at the Walmart Supercenter near Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake for over a year, claims Bing repeatedly made comments about her appearance, and even called her a b*tch at one point.
Despite going to management numerous times, Prioleau claims no action was ever taken to fire him because “he was liked by management.” She’s seeking $50 million in damages due to the mental anguish that has impacted her life.
Just after 10 p.m. on Nov. 22, shift leader Andre Bing entered a break room where other employees were gathered for a meeting before their shift. Bing opened fire with a pistol, killing six people ranging in age from 16 to 70. He then killed himself, according to authorities.
The Black Wall Street Times reached out to Walmart for a response to the lawsuit.
“The entire Walmart family is heartbroken by the loss of the valued members of our team. Our deepest sympathies go out to our associates and everyone impacted, including those who were injured,” Walmart told The Black Wall Street Times. “We are focused on supporting all our associates with significant resources, including counseling. We are reviewing the Complaint and will be responding as appropriate with the court.”
Walmart CEO and U.S. President John Furner shared a message with employees on Thursday, expressing condolences and announcing that the company has paid for funeral travel costs. It also made a $1 million donation to the United Way of South Hampton Roads’ Hope & Healing Fund. Yet for employees like Donya Prioleau, the gestures pale in comparison to the mental anguish she’s experiencing or the $50 million she’s demanding.
Lawsuit claims Walmart mass shooter was the bully, not the bullied
Following the rampage, law enforcement found documents on Bing’s phone which claimed he was being bullied prior to the shooting.
Yet the lawsuit filed by Prioleau claims Bing would regularly bully others with impunity.
“Prior to the shooting, Mr. Bing had told coworkers that he ran over a turtle with a lawnmower just to see its guys spray out, which made him hungry and reminded him of ramen noodles,” the lawsuit states.
“Mr. Bing had a reputation among Walmart employees for being the team lead to “watch out for.” It was well known that Mr. Bing had a bad attitude and would retaliate against 5 fellow employees for the smallest perceived slight or inadequacy. Mr. Bing was known for being a mean and cruel supervisor.”
In the complaint, Prioleau describes witnessing her coworkers be killed in front of her with bullets narrowly missing her. She also claims Bing kept a “kill list.”
“While the cruelty of murdering six defenseless people is truly unimaginable, Ms. Prioleau alleges that she and her coworkers had been concerned for months that such an incident could occur at any time. Our client alleges Walmart acknowledged her written complaint alleging harassment, but continued to employ the perpetrator,” lawyers for Prioleau said in a statement shared by WAVY News.
The Black Wall Street Times has reached out to Walmart for comment.