EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The widow of one of the mass shooting victims, who recently had a bus terminal renamed after him, is joining the lawsuit against Walmart.
Patricia Benavides and her husband Arturo Benavides were at the Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall on Aug. 3 when a shooter killed 22 people, including Arturo Benavides, and injured 25 more.
Patricia Benavides joins a lawsuit against Walmart Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Texas, LLC and Patrick Wood Crusius, 21, which was started by Jessica and Guillermo Garcia. The Garcias were shot outside while taking part in a fundraiser for their children’s soccer team. Benavides is represented by Randy Sorrels and Jason Muriby of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz.
“We will never forget this tragic event, and our condolences continue to go out to everyone who was affected,” Walmart said in a statement. “Safety is a top priority and we care deeply about our associates and customers. We will respond as appropriate with the court.”
Walmart recently filed a cross-claim in the case, saying the shooter is the person to blame for the tragedy.
“On August 3, 2019, Defendant Patrick Crusius (“Defendant Crusius”) of Allen, Texas, attacked El Paso and carried out a campaign of violence and murder,” the court document says. “That loss of life and harm were caused intentionally and solely by Defendant Crusius. Walmart Parties assert a cross-claim against Defendant Crusius for the matters set forth in this lawsuit.”
Crusius allegedly told officers he was targeting Mexicans during the shooting. He also allegedly told police he was surprised no one challenged him during the spree.
“The lawsuit, which was filed in El Paso County, Texas, claims that the Wal-Mart Defendants, which have known about shooting incidents at their other stores in Texas and around the nation, had a duty to have security guards and other security measures at its stores, to discourage such shootings and to engage any shooter that may attempt to harm their employees or customers,” a news release from the law firm said. “Although the Wal-Mart Defendants have security guards at some of their stores, the location in El Paso where Mr. Benavides and others were killed did not appear to have any.”
Court documents filed say that Patricia Benavides was sitting on a bench while Arturo Benavides waited in line to pay for items. When the shooter entered the store, Patricia was pushed inside a bathroom for safety and Arturo was shot and killed in the checkout aisle.
He was a U.S. Army Veteran and served as a Staff Sergeant in the Texas Army National Guard. He worked for Sun Metro following his Army career until 2013 when he retired.
“Mr. Benavides was also a dedicated family man,” the release said. “He married Mrs. Benavides—his best friend and soulmate—more than 30 years ago. He cared about his family deeply and would take the time to call his family members on a weekly basis, to see how they were doing. He also enjoyed sharing stories and cherished the conversations he had with others.”
Benavides is listed as an Intervenor. Aurora Bonilla Hernandez, the estate of Maribel Hernandez Loya, Andres Loya, Raul Roberto Loya, Yvette Shibley Yvonne Loya, Donna Rae Sifford, Ernest Christopher Grant and Rosa Barron were previously listed as Intervenors.
The Garcias are plaintiffs in the suit as are Arnulfo Rascon and Ilda Campos (on behalf of Leonard Campos, who was killed in the shooting).