Just beyond the public August 3 memorial, two investigators were allowed into the Cielo Vista Walmart Sunday.
They work for a law firm suing the store on behalf of injured victims and are looking to help build a case. The lawsuit was brought forward in early September by Jessica and Memo Garcia, two surviving victims who were shot while fundraising outside the store.
“One of the major issues is ‘who was watching the Walmart, what kind of security did Walmart have?’ And at this time there was no discernible security on the premises at the time of the horrific event,” said Mariah Solis, an attorney with the Ammons Law Firm.
The visit was part of a court order and only two investigators were allowed inside. They were allowed to photograph and film anything they needed, as part of the strictly structured order.
“We have two hours in the store, as the court order says to do everything we need to find what we need to find for the lawsuit,” Solis said.
The law firm said Walmart had been fighting the investigation but a Walmart representative told ABC-7 they just didn’t want a visit to stop construction.
The retailer sent ABC-7 a statement reading: “We have proceeded thoughtfully throughout and this includes preserving what information we have as required by law and working meticulously with federal and local authorities as they documented everything that took place.”
As to the lawsuit, this visit is just one of the first steps.
“Depending on what they find I’m sure we will use it and it will be useful information, We are looking forward to see what they find, at this time we have no more information than that,” Solis said.
A Walmart representative said neither the company nor the law firm can share the findings of the visit. The judge ordered that the findings be used for the litigation only and not be shared with others.
The Cielo Vista Walmart is scheduled to open November 6.