The widow of the man killed during an altercation outside a Gwinnett County Walmart has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the retail giant and the alleged shooter.
The civil suit — filed last week in Gwinnett County State Court on behalf Bahra Delkic, the wife of slain shopper Fadil Delkic — accuses Walmart of not doing enough to create a safe environment in the parking lot of its store at 1550 Scenic Highway in Snellville. Delkic died after his Aug. 19 encounter there with Troy Hunte, who has since been charged with murder.
The lawsuit also names Hunte, who remains in the Gwinnett County jail without bond, as a defendant in the civil case, accusing him of shooting Delkic “without provocation.”
“Given the history of violence in their parking lots, and Wal-Mart’s [sic] knowledge they were not employing adequate security measures,” the suit says, “it was foreseeable to Wal-Mart that the Plaintiff would be attacked in their parking lot and sustain serious injury or death.”
The shooting is another setback for Walmart, which has struggled in recent years to get a handle on crime at its stores. In some communities, police complain that the stores generate more calls for service than any other business. A Bloomberg report two years ago concluded that more than 200 violent crimes, including murders, rapes and attempted kidnappings, occurred that year at roughly 4,500 stores across the country.
A Walmart spokesman said its stores are safe and took issue with the claims made in the lawsuit.
“This appears to have been an unfortunate dispute between two individuals that we had no knowledge of and no way of knowing their argument was going to escalate into violence,” Randy Hargrove told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The safety and security of our customers and associates is always a top priority. We take this seriously and plan to defend the company against the litigation.”
According to information released by Snellville police and the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, the Delkics first encountered Hunte, 27, and his girlfriend when they visited the store on a Sunday afternoon. The girlfriend, whose name has not been released, took issue with Fadil Delkic pulling his car too close to them in a crosswalk.
Delkic drove away from that initial confrontation and parked his car, District Attorney Danny Porter has said. Hunte and his girlfriend, though, approached again, and Hunte’s girlfriend reportedly slapped Delkic in the face.
Hunte then shot Delkic in the chest, officials said.
“You can see in the video [Hunte’s girlfriend] approaches the vehicle, [Delkic] steps out of the car and pretty quickly she hits him … and then within seconds the victim is shot,” Porter said last month. “You can see in the video [Hunte] was on the phone and actually reached into his pocket, pulled the gun out and shot the victim.”
Delkic, 49, was a Bosnian refugee who survived prison during the Bosnian War in the 1990s.
The lawsuit filed by Lawrenceville attorney Robert Giannini on behalf of Delkic’s widow asks for a jury trail and for compensation “for the full value of the life Fadil Delkic in an amount to be determined by the evidence.”
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com