Jacksonville, Florida – A wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of three Black victims who were shot and killed at a Dollar General store in August. The lawsuit accuses the discount chain store and the gunman’s parents of negligence, alleging that they failed to take necessary precautions to ensure customer and employee safety.
The lawsuit, which was filed in a Florida court, alleges that Dollar General did not have adequate security measures in place at the store despite it being located in a high-crime area. The absence of a security guard on the premises at the time of the shooting is cited as a crucial factor that could have prevented the tragic events.
The victims of the attack were identified as Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, Angela Michelle Carr, and Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr., who worked at the store. During a news conference held by civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who is representing the victims’ relatives, he stated, “Dollar General, blood is on your hands, too.”
Crump emphasized that the lawsuit aims to hold Dollar General accountable for prioritizing profits over people’s safety. The lawsuit also names the parents of the suspected gunman, Ryan Christopher Palmeter, as defendants, accusing them of failing to protect the public from their son’s foreseeable criminal acts.
Ryan Palmeter launched an 11-minute shooting rampage at the Dollar General store, armed with a Glock handgun and an AR-15-style weapon that bore a swastika marking. He wore a tactical vest during the attack. Palmeter subsequently died by suicide as police responded to the scene.
Authorities have described the shooting as racially motivated, with evidence suggesting that Palmeter had strong biases against Black people. The Jacksonville County sheriff’s office found offensive and hateful language, including racial slurs, in his writings both on his person and at his home.
The lawsuit claims that Dollar General was warned about numerous criminal acts occurring in the area surrounding the store but failed to take necessary steps to protect its customers and employees. It further accuses Palmeter’s parents of negligence for allegedly not informing the authorities about their son’s threat and not taking action to prevent harm.
The Dollar General attack shares similarities with a mass shooting at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in 2022, where 10 Black people were killed by a self-professed white supremacist. However, no lawsuits were filed against Tops in the aftermath of that shooting.
In response to the lawsuit, Dollar General stated that they do not believe there is a connection between store conditions and the tragic events. Dollar General’s safety protocols and procedures are currently being investigated by OSHA.