Family files first lawsuit after El Paso Wal-Mart shooting

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, September 4, 2019

HOUSTON, Texas — A family of four has filed the first lawsuit after the shooting at an El Paso Wal-Mart August 3, 2019.

Jessica and Guillermo Garcia were shopping near the entrance of the store with their two children when Patrick Crusius approached with an AK-47 assault rifle and began shooting. Crusius shot at the Garcias multiple times as their children watched in horror. At least one bullet hit Guillermo Garcia’s spine, and he has undergone multiple surgeries since. Today, one month after the shooting, Guillermo Garcia remains in the hospital in critical condition. Jessica Garcia was also hospitalized for her injuries but has since been released.  In all, Patrick Crusius murdered 22 and injured 22 more that day in Wal-Mart.

The family’s suit claims Wal-Mart had a responsibility to protect its customers, and that Wal-Mart failed to live up to this duty because it did not employ security guards to patrol the store. The El Paso Wal-Mart location where the shootings occurred does not appear to have had any armed guards for security, although a number of other Wal-Marts around the country do.

“We are also requesting information about Wal-Mart’s security practices, including how the El Paso store was rated on Wal-Mart’s highly secretive risk-scoring and crime-database systems,” says family attorney Rob Ammons.  “We also want to know whether El Paso Wal-Mart managers altered store security policies in response to a hostage situation and shooting that took place in 2016 at a Wal-Mart in Amarillo, Texas.”

The Garcia family’s suit requests a temporary restraining order to preserve the scene and any evidence Wal-Mart has collected since the shooting. Wal-Mart notified El Paso Mayor Dee Margo on August 21, 2019, that it planned extensive renovations of the store, including rebuilding the entire interior of the store and installing new fixtures and new flooring. According to the lawsuit, since Wal-Mart regained possession of the store from law enforcement two weeks ago, it has already completely gutted the entire front area.

Robert Ammons and Patrick Luff of The Ammons Law Firm represent the Garcia family in filing suit against Wal-Mart. This is not the first time The Ammons Law Firm has been called on to represent victims of a mass shooting. The Ammons Law Firm also represents a number of families affected by the 2017 First Baptist Church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The Ammons Law Firm has a nationwide personal injury practice focusing on tire defects, truck accidents, rollovers, consumer protection and product liability, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, air bag defects, and plant explosions.