In May, a man shopping was shot to death in front of his family after trying to break up an altercation at a Walmart in Broward. The man’s relatives are now suing the retail giant — and the man locked up — in connection to the shooting.
Attorney Adam Finkel of the Haggard Law Firm is representing the family of Thierry Bastien, the 38-year-old killed in the shooting. He accused Walmart of not taking “precautions as were reasonably necessary to protect... customers and employees” in a lawsuit filed in Broward court last week.
The family is seeking more than $100,000 in damages, according to court records.
According to police, Bastien jumped in to help as an argument between a male and female employee at the Walmart Supercenter, 3001 N State Rd. 7 in Lauderdale Lakes, escalated into a physical fight. During the tussle, the male employee dropped a gun on the floor and tried to take the woman’s cellphone. He then retrieved it and shot Bastien multiple times as his girlfriend and baby watched, police say.
Tironie Sterling, 22, was arrested on charges of robbery by sudden snatching and murder while engaging in a felony offense.
Before intervening to protect the female employee, Bastien, a father of two, asked several Walmart staff to address the fighting, the lawsuit alleges. They refused to respond.
“As a direct and proximate result of [Walmart’s] negligence, Bastien suffered severe bodily harm resulting in death,” the filing says.
The Walmart store, according to the lawsuit, “had a history of altercations” that would’ve “reasonably required heightened security measures,” including training employees to respond, hiring security personnel and actively monitoring surveillance cameras.
According to data provided by attorneys, Walmart, the nation’s largest grocery store chain, reported 536 gun-related incidents and 186 deaths from January 2020 to November 2022. The data, compiled from the Gun Violence Archive, shows that Walmart was the deadliest place to grocery shop in the U.S. during that time frame.
“Having the big heart that he had, he went down a hero,” Bastien’s girlfriend Makia Ford told Local 10 in May. “It’s sad.”