LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Ten months after two shoppers were shot and killed at the Jeffersontown Kroger store, family members of one of the victims are now suing the grocery giant, as well as the accused gunman.
The lawsuit filed by the family of Maurice Stallard claims the grocery chain didn’t do anything to prevent Gregory Bush from entering the store with a gun, or to stop him once the shooting started. Stallard was at Kroger with his grandson, buying poster board for a school project, when he was shot dead inside the store. The boy witnessed the whole thing.
The lawsuit claims the gunman pointed the weapon at the child, but didn’t fire.
It also alleges the company allowed customers to carry firearms in the store despite knowing more than two dozen shootings have happened on its properties and inside locations across the country, including the same Stoneybrook store in 2007.
The family is seeking damages for six actions including wrongful death and emotional distress.
Retired Jefferson District Court Judge David Holton said in current society, people and companies can expect a mass shooting anytime and anywhere.
"The question is, was it foreseeable for Kroger to know this would happen was it something that could have been prevented,” asked retired Jefferson District Court Judge David Holton.
Consumers, like Alfred Murphy, agree, saying that knowing what responsibility businesses have plays a role in their comfort.
"It’s like it’s going back to the wild, wild west days,” Murphy said while shopping on Fourth Street Live!
WAVE 3 News walked for more than three blocks in one of the busiest areas of downtown and we saw no signs or stickers on the front of businesses saying there were no guns allowed on the property.
Murphy said that’s a concern when he’s out in public.
“I’m on guard like I always am when I come out,” Murphy explained.
Bush is facing federal hate crime charges. He’s also charged with killing another shopper, Vickie Lee Jones, in the parking lot. Evidence shows the shootings could have been motivated by race.
If convicted, Bush could face the death penalty or life in prison.
Kroger said it can’t comment on the lawsuit but expressed “deepest sympathies to the families affected by this senseless violence.”