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Shooting at Wal-Mart Injures Employee

According to a recent news article from ABC News, a former employee of a Pennsylvania Wal-Mart Superstore retuned to the store later that same day and shot an employee.  Authorities have said this does not appear to be a random act of violence.

gunshot-300x225Witnesses reported the 22-year-old defendant returned to the store and shot his former coworker, because he was transitioning his gender from male to female, and the victim was allegedly offended by the defendant’s transition. The two men were reportedly fighting earlier that day before the defendant quit his job and later returned with a gun. According to court records, defendant went home and got a .380 caliber handgun that belonged to his grandfather and then returned to his former place of employment.  He had allegedly planned to wait for the victim until he came out of the store and shoot him there, but after waiting a period of time, he decided to enter the store and shoot him there.

After he allegedly shot the other man, he went out to his car, where the police found him still holding the gun. The employee was shot a total of four times.  Two of the bullets hit him in his back.  While his injuries are obviously considered very serious, he is expected to survive and likely recover at the level-one trauma center where he was taken by first responders after being stabilized at his place of employment.   There is now an investigation into the alleged harassment against defendant while he worked at the store, in addition to the shooting investigation.

Defendant has been charged with various felony offenses, including aggravated assault, carrying a pistol without a license, theft, and reckless endangerment.  The theft charge is likely involving the gun, which is alleged to have been taken from his grandfather.  While he has been charged with these serious offenses, it is important to understand that he is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt by a judge or jury.

While, if the allegations are true, this certainly wasn’t an accident, it still qualifies as an injury suffered while an employee was engaged in activity that serves the interest of his or her employer.  In other words, if you get injured by another employee while on the job, you should file a workers’ compensation claim.  This is not only an appropriate thing to do, it is likely your only way to recover for money spent on medical bills, rehabilitation, and money lost from your missing work.

In fact, lost wages and medical bills are the main component of most workers’ compensation claims handled by our Boston workplace injury lawyers.  Although it should be noted that in most cases, we are dealing with a more traditional accident, there is no difference in the law with respect to intentional acts of violence by other employees.   The reason we say that it may be your only way to recover is because workers’ compensation is considered an exclusive recovery option.

If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Police: Shooting Suspect Says Threatened for Gender Switch, November 4, 2016, By Joe Mandak, ABC News

More Blog Entries:

Scope of Employment in Workers’ Compensation Cases, March 29, 2016, Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog