An El Paso trial court and the Texas 8th Court of Appeals have ruled that retail giant Walmart should provide details about violent crime and security issues at various locations following the mass shooting at its El Paso Cielo Vista store in 2019. However, Walmart’s lawyers are desperately trying to keep those details from going public and once again have gone to the Texas Supreme Court in the hopes that it will block the victims’ lawyers from asking tough questions.
Walmart is facing lawsuits filed by victims, family members and survivors of the Aug. 3, 2019, mass shooting that killed 23 shoppers. These lawsuits claim Walmart created a “crime magnet,” and placed profits over safety by not providing adequate private security at its Cielo Vista location. The retailer instead relied on taxpayer-funded police to respond to violent crimes at the store, one of the busiest in the country.
This is not the first time Walmart has gone to the Texas Supreme Court looking for help. The retailer previously asked the court to overturn lower court rulings and shield it from releasing information sought by attorneys representing victims and their families. Those appeals are still pending.
“There’s a reason Walmart doesn’t want a jury to see this information,” said trial lawyer Majed Nachawati, co-founder of Fears Nachawati, which represents several shooting victims and their families. “The company knows it failed to provide adequate security despite violent crime at its stores. These families – and Walmart’s loyal customers – deserve to know the truth.”
Patrick Crusius, the gunman accused in the shooting, told police after his arrest that he chose that particular Walmart location to carry out his crime because he was looking for a “soft target” for his plan to kill “Mexicans.” According to reports, Crusius was surprised no one challenged him when he entered the store carrying an AK-47.
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