Gunman in Kroger mass shooting ‘predictably dangerous,’ injured worker says in lawsuit

Mark Humphrey/AP

A Kroger employee is suing the grocery store chain a year after a deadly mass shooting at a Tennessee store last year.

Mariko Jenkins was shot while working at a Kroger in Collierville, Tennessee, when a gunman opened fire in the store on Sept. 23, 2021, court documents show.

Jenkins, of Memphis, is suing Kroger and its sushi contractor JFE Franchising/Snowfox, for $10 million in damages on claims that the chain’s recklessness and gross negligence allowed the shooting to happen.

The shooter, Uk Thang, had been terminated from his job at Kroger’s sushi vendor earlier that day, the lawsuit says, and only left after other employees threatened to call authorities. Thang later returned to the store with three guns, killing one person and injuring 14 more. He shot himself as authorities arrived at the store, police told WJHL.

The suit alleges that Thang had known behavioral problems, was not adequately screened before he was hired and argued with co-workers frequently.

“Thang had a history of anti-social, antagonistic, volatile, unstable, threatening and predictably dangerous behavior at all times pertinent hereto,” the documents say.

Both Kroger and JFE Franchising/Snowfox declined to comment on the pending lawsuit.

The lawsuit also claims Kroger should have had better training preparation and security measures in place to prevent Thang from returning to the store.

Jenkins has “suffered severe injuries, great emotional distress, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of income and enjoyment of life,” since the shooting, the court documents say.

There have been nearly 500 mass shootings so far in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive. A mass shooting is defined by the organization as a single event where four or more people are shot and/or killed, excluding the shooter, at the same general time and location.

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