Survivors of El Paso shooting file lawsuit against Walmart

Survivors of a mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart have filed a lawsuit against the mega-retailer, claiming the Aug. 3 attack that left 22 people dead could have been prevented.

Jessica and Guillermo Garcia were both shot multiple times while they were shopping with their children, the El Paso Times reported Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Guillermo Garcia was shot at least once in the spine and remains in critical condition at the Del Sol Medical Center after undergoing multiple surgeries.

Neither of their children were injured when a gunman opened fire in the crowded store. The suspect reportedly told police that he was targeting "Mexicans."

In their suit filed against Walmart Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Texas LLC on Aug. 30, the family is not asking for monetary compensation, the El Paso Times reported. Instead, they are demanding to know why Walmart did not have armed security or measures to prevent the shooting.

"I don’t know the answers to this, but I definitely think that if they had armed security there, this would have turned out different,” said Don Coca, father of Jessica Garcia,  told the newspaper. “They [Walmart] could have prevented it. There are a lot of things that could have been done differently.”

It also reportedly accuses Walmart officials of gross negligence for failing to have safety measures in place.

“It was the responsibility of Wal-Mart to provide security to the premises due to the capacity of patrons at the premises. Despite the crowd at the premises on the day of the shooting, Wal-Mart failed to provide security guards to protect the patrons at the premises," the lawsuit obtained by the outlet states. 

The Garcias' lawsuit also asked the district court judge grant a temporary restraining order preventing Walmart from altering the crime scene in any way.

The El Paso Police Department turned the crime scene back over to Walmart on Aug. 14, the newspaper noted.

The retailer announced shortly after that it would reopen the store with a memorial honoring the massacre’s victims in a few months after the interior was rebuilt.

The lawsuit obtained by the newspaper alleges that Walmart has already begun renovating the store.

Randy Hargrove, a spokesman at Walmart's headquarters, told the El Paso Times that officials were preserving information and working “meticulously” with authorities to document the events of Aug. 3.

“This tragic event will be with us forever, and our hearts go out to the families that were impacted," Hargrove said. "Safety is a top priority and we care deeply about our associates and customers."

The retail giant, which is the largest firearm retailer in the country, announced on Tuesday that it would formally end handgun sales, discontinue sales on certain types of ammunition and ask customers not to openly carry firearms.