Wal-Mart fires employees for disarming gunman. Tell them no!


Andrew Rothman
February 14, 2011, 09:22 PM

This is ridiculous. The policy forbids employees to endanger themselves to protect merchandise. In this case, however, they were clearly fighting for their lives.

Shut down their switchboard! Call the Layton, UT store at (801) 546-1992 and ask for a "manager on duty." Tell him or her why you think the firing is wrong -- they were protecting lives, not merchandise.

The MOD will tell you to call media relations at 800-331-0085. So do that (choose "customer"), too, and tell them the same thing.

Then post here when you've done it.

Don't let them get away with firing their employees for exercising their fundamental human right to self defense.

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February 16, 2011, 12:57 PM
I'll never darken their doors again, for anything!

February 16, 2011, 01:30 PM
Longton, according to the police report, was a convicted felon who had multiple warrants out for his arrest. He was a restricted person -- meaning he wasn't supposed to be carrying a handgun. The handgun was loaded, according to the report, and contained a bullet in the chamber.

Wow, those laws in place really helped prevent him from being armed - better make more restrictive laws that he still won't follow! :rolleyes:

Longton pleaded guilty Monday to two charges: robbery, a second-degree felony; and the purchase, transfer, possession or use of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a class A misdemeanor.

That misdemeanor charge really gives these oh-so-important gun laws teeth, doesn't it :rolleyes:

February 16, 2011, 01:56 PM
I submitted this through the Walmart Corporate website, in the Feedback section.


To whom it may concern:

This is in regards to the news story located here: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=14319284

I urge Walmart to reconsider the firing of Shawn Ray, Justin Richins, Lori Poulsen, and Gabriel Stewart from the Layton, UT store. Please rehire these heroes, as their actions were done only in self defense. From their own words, they had no opportunity to back down, with one of their co-workers being held at gunpoint. Their actions were instinctive and in the defense of their friend, not Walmart property.

Gabriel Stewart was an employee of yours for 12 years before a felon put a gun to his back, and his co-workers courageously decided to keep him from being a murder victim. For this, they all lost their jobs.

Shawn Ray's termination cost him the ability to purchase a home - his American dream is shattered, his job lost. All for saving his friend's life, NOT your coporate property. The laptop was out of the equation - a gun was in his friend's back!

I cannot imagine that you will let this injustice stand, not when the situation is fully reevaluated on Walmart's part. These young men should be thanked, not fired.

I fully understand that Walmart's corporate policy is for employees not to confront/challenge an armed assailant - however I absolutely cannot understand how you can justify firing 4 employees because they didn't want to stand there and watch their friend get shot and killed by a felon, then potentially run on a rampage through your store with a loaded gun.

Corporate policies are made with the best of intentions, however I truly believe that if you look in your hearts, you will see that four young men risked their lives for their friend, NOT to protect your merchandise in a foolish manner.

I would very much appreciate a response, not just a form letter, to this enquiry. I sincerely hope your company will do the right thing and hire these heroes back, so you can again count them among the ranks of your staff. I would be proud to shop in a Walmart where four men stood up to an armed felon to save their friend - these are heroic deeds rarely seen these days.

Moments like these define the character of people, and corporations.

Please do the right thing, and reverse the terminations of these fine young Americans.

If you will not reevaluate and overturn the firing of these heroes, I assure you that my child, expected to be born in September of this year, will never have one item purchased from any of your stores, so long as I have a say in the matter. If gifts are purchased at Walmart I will return them and buy them elsewhere - even if twice the cost. I'm sorry, but I refuse to tolerate such treatment of genuine heroes in America, whether from the military or everyday people who do extraordinary things.

Once again, I urge Walmart to reconsider the firing of Shawn Ray, Justin Richins, Lori Poulsen, and Gabriel Stewart from the Layton, UT store.

Thank you for your time.

Double Naught Spy
February 16, 2011, 05:12 PM
I am at a bit of a loss on how to perceive this action. Are we requesting Walmart rehire the folks because they were successful and hence are heroes, or because the policy is inappropriate, or because things like American dreams and babies? Would we still be arguing to get their jobs back if they, as unarmed and combatively untrained employees, they acted and the gunman managed to harm people in the store? Would we be calling them idiots, brave, but hugely unwise for going up against a gunman with nothing more than their bare hands?

Did their actions actually endanger others? Were the latter 1, 2, or 3 employees who got involved put into a position where they had to get involved because the action of the first employee(s) raised the level of danger for them? It may be that these latter employees should not be fired because of the position they were put in by the first employee(s).

AP09 ostensibly says that employees are to not engage armed suspect and/or to disengage from the when a weapon is produced.

From their own words, they had no opportunity to back down, with one of their co-workers being held at gunpoint.

Yet from the story they told, the gunman had plenty of time to explain to them that his gun was cocked and to not make him do this. That ws more than enough opportunity to back down which only required not taking action. They may have claimed to have had not choice but to disarm the man and I can understand their sentiments.

We often say that we would rather be judged by 12 rather than carried by 6. These employees were not carried by 6. They were judged by those who are in a position to judge them in this case and they lost the judgment. Just because you opt for the judgment venue does not mean the judgment will be in your favor.

February 16, 2011, 06:31 PM
To build upon what Double Naught Spy has said:

In our litigious society, Wal-Mart and other large companies have a great big target (heh) on their backs saying, "Sue me!" Any risk taken by employees, shoppers, whomever, for any reason, opens them up to incredibly expensive lawsuits.

I mean, if there's an auto accident at the intersection in front of a Wal-Mart, not even on Wal-Mart property, you can bet dollars to donuts that the lawyers and insurance companies will name Wal-Mart in the damages suit.

I feel for these guys, I believe every word they said (as reported) is Gospel Truth, I applaude the bravery displayed by their actions, I think that the HR-type person who made this decision hasn't fully considered the situation (I mean, really, where were they going to retreat to?), and has rendered a rubber-stamp, zero-tolerance judgement, but Wal-Mart, and other big$$$ companies, have to protect themselves, too.

Just because they have hundreds of millions (if not billions!) in profits doesn't mean they want to be forced by a civil court judgement to pay out should an employee or shopper get stabbed, shot, or otherwise hurt on company property.

Having worked Asset Protection (many years ago) for the now-defunct Venture Stores, I know exactly where Wal-Mart is coming from with this policy.

TX expat
February 16, 2011, 07:07 PM
Tough to make an honest call without actually being there or at least watching tape of the incident, which I'm sure Wal-Mart has done. Since Wal-Mart has a pretty strict policy for apprehending any shoplifter, they could easily have been in violation of the policy before the firearm even came out.

Mike Sr.
February 16, 2011, 07:18 PM
" apprehending an unarmed shoplifter is one thing"....to prevent an armed shoplifter from killing, is another.

Boo on walmart.

February 16, 2011, 08:31 PM
I can't help but wonder that a "pro-gun" forum has members who prefer to demonize those who act in the standards we claim to set for ourselves. I spent over 39 years in public safety and admit I wouldn't make much of a "security guard"... ( call it "loss prevention, asset protection or whatever you like it's still a security guard") because I am not a pre-programmed victim and wouldn't know how to begin being one. Life's risky. We could be killed crossing a street or riding in a car. But life should have some standards. Unless the monsters and predators are gone forever there will always be victims. While there are victims there should always be those who are prepared to stand between the good and evil in life. These people stood for good. They should not be penalized. Personally I don't think Wal Mart should rehire them. Their like is wasted on a jerkwater outfit like Wal Mart. I hope they get job offers from people of principle who need employees who are willing to stand for good.

February 16, 2011, 08:47 PM
We discussed this HEAVILY a week ago. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=573446

This is Activism. Read the rules (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=270671)! Either do what the OP requests or don't. Discussion is(was) to be had elsewhere.

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