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Chesapeake mass shooting survivor re-files $50M lawsuit against Walmart

In the newly filed lawsuit in Chesapeake Circuit Court, Briana Tyler detailed how she said the shooter targeted her during the November 2022 mass shooting.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — One of the survivors of last year's mass shooting at a Chesapeake Walmart has re-filed her lawsuit against the store, arguing that she was specifically targeted.

It’s been six months since a store employee opened fire in the Walmart breakroom. Friends, family and the people of Chesapeake were rocked by the tragedy.

The store on Sam’s Circle has since reopened, but survivors like Briana Tyler, are still trying to heal.

"Seeing my life flash before my eyes, I feel like it definitely taught me that life can literally be taken from you in the blink of an eye," Tyler told ABC in an interview shortly after the shooting.

A Chesapeake Circuit Court judge dismissed Tyler's initial lawsuit in against Walmart in April, saying it didn't have enough evidence to keep the case going. The judge gave Tyler a chance to amend it.

In the newly filed lawsuit, Tyler, who worked at the Walmart, detailed how she said the shooter targeted her during the November 2022 shooting.

Her lawyer did not include those details in her original lawsuit, which a judge dismissed in April.

Tyler said her shift supervisor started shooting while she and her coworkers sat in the breakroom on November 22. The amended complaint, which was filed May 25, said the shooter looked Tyler in the eyes, pointed his gun at her, and pulled the trigger.

He missed by inches, leaving bullet holes in her jacket, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit also claimed the shooter let another co-worker go unharmed.

Tyler alleged once the shooter left the breakroom, he began chasing another employee but once he saw Tyler trying to escape, he stopped again to focus on her. They say this fact was confirmed by Walmart surveillance video.

The amended complaint reads “Upon information and belief, Briana was the only individual [the gunman] chased all the way into the store, firing his gun.

"Then once I saw blood I was like, 'Oh, this is really real' and then that's when it processed you have to run or you're gonna die," Tyler said in that same ABC interview. "All I kept saying was, 'Don’t trip. Don’t fall. Don’t look back. Just run.' And that’s exactly what I did. I just ran straight for the front door."

During an April hearing, Walmart’s attorneys said there is no proof Tyler and the shooter had a relationship outside of work that would define the shooting as a “personal attack.” Therefore, they said Tyler’s injuries would only fall under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

Tyler’s new filing also adds simple negligence and willful and wanton negligence to the charges against the Walmart. The initial filing only charged Walmart with negligent retention, respondent superior liability, gross negligence, and attempted murder against the shooter’s estate.

Tyler is seeking $50 million and a trial by jury.

Walmart has also faced two lawsuits from other surviving workers, as well as one of the victims’ estates, Randy Blevins. Many of them claim Walmart was warned about the shooter’s alarming behavior. All three suits have been dropped, but they are able to refile.

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