The Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart supervisor who killed six co-workers and himself and injured four others last month was investigated by company officials for aggressive behavior two years before the deadly rampage, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
According to the report, Walmart executives investigated complaints from other employees regarding Andre Bing, 31, an overnight shift manger at the store who worked for the company since 2010.
The revelation about the company investigations of Bing, who shot and killed six co-workers outside of the store and in the break room, and injured four others before turning the gun on himself Nov. 22, come to light as part of two lawsuits filed by employees of the store, each seeking $50 million in damages.
One of the lawsuits, filed by overnight stocker Donya Prioleau said that Bing "had been disciplined on several occasions" by the company, and was even "demoted" for "improper and disturbing interactions with others," but was eventually reinstated to his leadership role in the store.
The lawsuit said the Prioleau submitted a "formal complaint" about Bing on Sept. 10, a little more than two months prior to the shooting, after Bing allegedly made "bizarre" and inappropriate comments about her age, harassed her for being "poor and short" and for calling her a "b****" under his breath when she walked past him.
The suit claims that Walmart should have known Bing was acting "inappropriately, bizarrely and dangerously" before the shooting occurred.
"While the cruelty of murdering six defenseless people is truly unimaginable, Ms. Prioleau alleges that she and her co-workers had been concerned for months that such an incident could occur at any time," Prioleau's attorneys, John Morgan and Peter Anderson, said in a statement to The Washington Post following the lawsuit's filing Nov. 29, a week after the shooting.
While not directly addressing Prioleau's lawsuit, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove told the news outlet in a statement that the company is "heartbroken" about the shooting and is reviewing the complaint.
"The entire Walmart family is heartbroken by the loss of the valued members of our team," Hargrove said in the statement to The Post. "Our deepest sympathies go out to our associates and everyone impacted, including those who were injured. We are focused on supporting all our associates with significant resources, including counseling. We are reviewing the complaint and will be responding as appropriate with the court."
Another employee, John Kelly, is also suing the company over the shooting, filing the documents Dec. 7, a separate Post report said.
He is also seeking $50 million in damages from the company.
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