An employee who survived a mass shooting in a Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart break room last week has filed a lawsuit against the company for keeping the suspect employed even though it reportedly was known he was a threat.
Donya Prioleau is seeking $50 million from the multi-billion-dollar company she alleges failed to protect employees from the overnight team lead Eric Bing “who had known propensities for violence, threats and strange behavior.”
Bing opened fire in the store’s break room on Nov. 22, killing six of his co-workers and injuring at several others before turning the gun on himself. Prioleau said she has dealt with post-traumatic distress disorder after witnessing the brutal attack and coming close to her own death.
“Bullets whizzed by Plaintiff Donya Prioleau’s face and left side, barely missing her,” the lawsuit reads. “She witnessed several of her coworkers being brutally murdered on either side of her.”
Many of Bing’s former and current coworkers came forward after the shooting to recall his temperament. One former maintenance worker said Bing once told him if the company ever fired him, he would retaliate, and “people would remember who he was.” Other coworkers said Bing was the manager everyone was warned to stay away from, and he also was paranoid about being surveilled.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that several complaints were made against the suspect. He was disciplined but remained at the store. Prioleau also filed a complaint to Walmart about inappropriate and odd remarks Bing made to her just two months before the shooting.
Prioleau alleges that Bing told her: “Isn’t your lady clock ticking? Shouldn’t you be having kids?”
The lawsuit says Prioleau also told Walmart that Bing harassed her for “being poor and being short” and called her a “b–ch” under his breath.
“Despite Mr. Bing’s long-standing pattern of disturbing and threatening behavior, Walmart knew or should have known about Mr. Bing’s disturbing and threatening behavior, but failed to terminate Mr. Bing, restrict his access to common areas, conduct a thorough background investigation, or subject him to a mental health examination,” the suit says.
The Virginia Walmart Shooter Left a Suicide Note
The lawsuit also points out that Bing “had a personal vendetta against several Walmart employees and kept a ‘kill list’ of potential targets prior to the shooting.”
Officials said Bing left a note on his phone outlining his motive and his plan to harm some of his coworkers. Police said he was armed with a 9mm handgun that he purchased the morning of the shooting. Authorities also found ammunition, a box, a receipt and other paperwork for the gun while executing a search warrant at the suspects’ home after the shooting.
Bing wrote in the “Death Note” that several of his coworkers compared him to notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who had recently been depicted in a Netflix series. Bing dismissed the claims saying that he would have “never killed someone who entered my home.”
“Sorry God I’ve failed you, this was your fault but my own,” Bing states at the start of the note.
“I failed to listen to the groans of the holy spirit which made me a poor representation of You,” he continued. “I was harassed by idiots with low intelligence and a lack of wisdom I remained strong through most of the torment but my dignity was completely taken away beyond repair by my phone being hacked.”
Bing also accused his coworkers of plotting against him and using “code speeches.” He wrote about being betrayed by a male coworker who he thought was his friend before he colluded with the others. Bing said he overheard two coworkers talking and one of them told him that they were trying to get “rid of” him since “day one.” He had worked at the store since 2010.
“After I heard that I lashed out,” he wrote. “The associates gave me evil twisted grins, mocked me and celebrated my downfall the last day. That’s why they suffer the same fate as me.”
The shooter also notes that he has a “special place in his heart” for one female employee because his mother died from cancer, and he planned to spare the coworker’s life. Bing said he did not plan the shooting. Everything just “fell into place like” he “was led by Satan.”
“My true intent was never to murder anyone believe it or not, I was actually one of the most loving people in the world if you would get to know me,” Bing wrote. “I just wanted a wife that was equally yoked as I and obsessed over the thought, however. I didn’t deserve a wife.”
Who are the Victims of the Virginia Walmart Shooting
Employers on the night shift had just clocked in and gathered in the break room for their routine meeting when Bing unloaded his gun spraying bullets around the room.
“He just looked around the room and just shot, and there were people dropping to the floor,” said Walmart employee Briana Tyler, who was in the break room and witnessed the shooting. She managed to escape unharmed.
Jessie Wilczewski said she came face to face with the gunman, but he retreated and told her to go home. Jalon Jones ran out of the store after being shot in the back and had to be treated in the ICU.
One other victim tried to make it out to safety and was found dead near the front of the store. Police discovered two other employees and Bing’s bodies in the break room. Three other victims died at nearby hospitals.
“Ms. Prioleau looked at one of her coworkers in the eyes right after she had been shot in the neck,” said the lawsuit filed Tuesday. “Ms. Prioleau saw the bullet wound in her coworker’s neck, the blood rushing out of it, and the shocked look on her coworker’s helpless face.”
Kellie Pyle, 52, had just recently started working at the Walmart store in Chesapeake after moving back to Virginia in May to reunite with her high school sweetheart after a divorce, The Washington Post reports. The two got engaged and she decided to settle down in the area and reconnect with family in her hometown of Norfolk.
Randall Blevins, 70, was a family man who worked at Walmart for two decades. His former coworkers and friends said he was a kind man and loyal employee, NPR reports.
Lorenzo Gamble, 42, had worked at Walmart for 15 years. The father of two was planning to make banana pudding and banana pudding cake for Thanksgiving. His 10-year-old would cry whenever he would leave, and he loved attending his older son’s football games.
Brian Pendleton, 39, worked for Walmart for over 10 years. Pendleton’s mother told reporters that he “did have some issues” with Bing, but his other coworkers described him as a fun-loving person.
“I feel like he had something against my son,” Pendleton said.
Tyneka Johnson, 22, was a fashionista who “gelled” with everyone she would meet, according to her high-school tutor. One of her relatives told 7NewsDC Johnson was “the nicest person, who never bothered anyone.”
Fernando Chavez-Barron, 16, worked the overnight shift at Walmart while in high school because “he wanted to help a little bit,” said a family friend, Rosy Perez.
“He was a very good child,” she added.