Walgreens Sued After Security Guard Shoots/Kills Customer
A grieving family is demanding $25 million from Walgreens after their loved one was shot and killed during an apparent shoplifting. The guard was not charged for the shooting. The security company that employed the guard has also been named in the lawsuit.
The plaintiff’s attorney has admitted that his client was engaged in a “petty theft situation” but insists that deadly force was not the proper way to handle it. The plaintiff, it is believed, was attempting to steal $14 to $15 in merchandise.
The victim was carrying a bag full of merchandise out of the store when he was intercepted by security. The security guard and the plaintiff then engaged in a struggle. The plaintiff was pinned to the ground, and the security guard disengaged. The man attempted to leave the store with the merchandise again. The plaintiff was walking out the door backward with his eyes still on the security guard. He appears to take one step toward the security guard, which is when the security guard fires. During the altercation, the security guard stated that the plaintiff “repeatedly threatened to stab him” when he tried to take back the stolen items. Attorneys for the plaintiff have countered that this never occurred and the victim was completely unarmed at the time of the altercation. No knife was found on the defendant after the incident took place.
In a case like this, a criminal prosecution may not be able to generate enough proof to move forward. A defendant would reasonably be able to claim that they were in danger for their own life. However, the power imbalance between an unarmed man and an armed one will be very apparent to the jury. And in civil cases, the standard of proof is significantly lower than criminal cases. Prosecutors are expected to prove their cases beyond a reasonable doubt whereas plaintiff’s attorneys must establish that their client’s cause of action is more likely than not.
The victim was a volunteer who worked with transgender youth and women. They also struggled with mental health issues and had been homeless. Their attorneys have countered that the incident did not rise to the standard of lawful self-defense as the victim was unarmed at the time of the incident. They have countered defense claims that the victim was acting aggressively. They have only admitted that an altercation ensued after the security guard attempted to stop them from leaving the store.
In point of fact, there was another way to handle this situation other than firing on an unarmed individual. The police could have been called or the store could have placed a ban on the plaintiff after the theft occurred. However, that didn’t happen.
It remains unclear whether or not a jury will support the plaintiff’s claim.
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