MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A former Kroger employee who was shot during last year’s mass shooting in Collierville has filed a lawsuit against the grocery store chain and a contracted sushi company in the store for $10 million.
Mariko Jenkins is seeking $5 million for punitive damages and $5 million for injuries and compensatory damages.
According to legal documents, Jenkins worked at the Kroger store when Uk Thang, who was the sole operator of the sushi counter and was recently fired from Snowfox, a contracted sushi company, entered the store and began shooting.
Police said Thang was asked to leave the store around 7 a.m. after getting into an argument with another employee. Around 12:30, he returned to the store with three guns and opened fire on customers and employees.
Olivia King, a mother of three, was killed and 15 people were injured before the gunman took his own life.
Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane called it “the most horrific event that’s occurred in Collierville history.”
The court documents claim Kroger allowed Thang to return to the store without an escort, failed to have adequate security measures that would have prevented the mass shooting, and “knew or should have known that Thang posed a specific threat of violence” after he was fired.
It also states that Snowfox failed to screen, investigate, oversee, or evaluate its employees and warn others of potential harm.
The court documents claim Thang had a history of confrontations and disagreements with Kroger employees and customers along with a history of anti-social and dangerous behavior.
According to the lawsuit, Jenkins was not only injured but also suffered great emotional distress, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of income, and loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the shooting.
Sheleah Harris, a Kroger spokesperson, responded to the lawsuit saying, “We don’t comment on pending litigation.”