In the aftermath of the shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Va., last week that claimed the lives of six employees and injured four others, the company is offering support to its associates and the families of the victims. In a note to employees from John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., the executive shared the retailer’s heartbreak over the losses and what it is doing to help those affected.
According to Furner, Walmart is supporting the families of those who died with funeral, travel and other expenses. The retailer has also set up a physical site where associates can meet and speak with counselors, and all employees and their families also have access to confidential mental health support resources at no cost.
Walmart is also contributing $1 million to the United Way of South Hampton Roads’ Hope & Healing Fund through the Walmart Foundation. The United Way organization will support those impacted by the shooting and the broader Chesapeake community.
“We understand this was a moment that can never be forgotten, particularly for the surviving associates of Store #1841,” Furner wrote. “The store is closed and will remain so for the foreseeable future. All associates will continue being paid regardless of planned schedules. We’ll work closely with the team to decide how and when we might remodel and reopen in a way that will help them move forward.”
While Walmart is offering assistance to its associates, one employee who survived the shooting is taking legal action against the retailer. According to a report from The New York Times, Walmart Chesapeake employee Donya Prioleau filed a lawsuit on Tuesday claiming that she had made a formal complaint against the shooter, who was a supervisor in the store.
Prioleau said the man made bizarre and inappropriate comments to her, and is accusing Walmart of negligent “hiring and retention” practices because of the shooter’s “known propensities for violence” and “strange behavior.” Prioleau is seeking $50 million from the retailer in compensatory damages.