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GettyImages-1245026746.jpg Bastien Inzaurralde (Getty Images)
Crime scene tape blocks the parking lot outside of a Walmart following a mass shooting the night before in Chesapeake, Virginia on November 23. A gunman killed at least six people at a Walmart store Tuesday just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the second mass shooting in the United States in four days. Police later identified the gunman as an employee at the store.

Employee who survived shooting sues Walmart

The employee, Donya Prioleau, seeks $50M, alleges company was warned of shooter’s threatening behavior

A Walmart employee who witnessed the recent mass shooting at the store where she worked in Chesapeake, Va., has sued the retailer, alleging that the company had been warned about the shooter’s troubling behavior before the incident took place.

Donya Prioleau, who in the lawsuit describes narrowly escaping being shot herself as “bullets whizzed past her face and left side,” is seeking $50 million in damages from the Bentonville, Ark.-based company.

Authorities said Andre Bing, an overnight shift team leader at the store, shot six people and wounded several others before committing suicide.

“The entire Walmart family is heartbroken by the loss of the valued members of our team,” Walmart said in a statement provided to SN. “Our deepest sympathies go out to our associates and everyone impacted, including those who were injured. 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.”

The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Chesapeake Circuit Court, alleges that Bing “demonstrated a pattern of disturbing behavior leading up to the shooting, which Walmart knew, or should have known.”

Walmart’s management had received reports that Bing had been “bullying, harassing and threatening other employees,” according to the lawsuit. The suit also stated that Bing had been demoted because of his treatment of other workers.

Prioloeau, who was an overnight stocker and trainer at the store, said in the suit that she and others had observed Bing “exhibit bizarre and threatening behavior,” prompting Prioleau’s mother to visit with store management out of concern for her daughter’s safety.

His behavior included threatening to retaliate if he was terminated, telling workers that “people will remember my name.” He also called Prioloeau a “bitch” under his breath, the suit alleges.

Prioleau said that during the attack she looked a co-worker in the eyes as she was dying after being shot in the neck and saw “several of her coworkers being brutally murdered on either side of her.” She has since suffered anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares and other effects. She also injured her elbow and knee while attempting to flee from the breakroom where the shooting took place.

In a memo to employees, Walmart listed the employees who were killed and detailed steps it has taken since the shooting, including a planned $1 million contribution to the United Way of South Hampton Roads’ Hope & Healing Fund, which will support those impacted by the shooting and the broader Chesapeake community.

The company is also said it is providing counseling for workers and family members.

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