Valley murder victim’s family suing Walmart, saying company is partly responsible for his death


TULARE, Calif. (KSEE) — A Tulare County family announced their plans to file a lawsuit against Walmart saying the company is partly to blame for the murder of 51-year-old Rocky Jones.

In December 2018 36-year-old Gustavo Garcia allegedly stole unsecured ammo from a Tulare Walmart’s shelves and used it in a deadly crime spree.

Cheyenne Jones was Rocky’s only child. She said everyone tells her it gets easier, but it’s only gotten harder since the day she lost the man she said was more than a father.

“My dad was like, that was my best friend, you know?” she said.

Rocky was killed by Garcia outside a Visalia AM-PM. Garcia was on a rampage which included carjacking, armed robbery, two murders and a shootout with law enforcement.

It was a crime spree Rocky’s family said never should have happened.

“I hope and pray this doesn’t ever have to happen to any other family in this world because this is by far the worst pain I have ever had to feel in my whole life,” Cheyenne said.

According to the family’s attorney Butch Wagner, Walmart “armed the killer.”

“By allowing him unfettered access to the ammunition in their store,” he said.

The Jones family alleges the bullets used in the killing were the same ones Garcia stole from the Tulare Walmart.

“Walmart violated state law by having their ammunition unsecured unlocked and not behind a counter where there was a salesperson to assist you,” Wagner said.

Jody Jones, Rocky’s brother, said the family is waging a big battle. Not only will they be challenging Walmart, they’re also taking on lawmakers.

The family is pushing for legislation to hold them accountable for weakening criminal laws.

“We want to see our lawmakers step up and say enough is enough. Because really when is enough, enough. How many people are going to have to die before they realize that?” Jody said.

Jody drew national attention as President Donald Trump’s State of the Union guest. Trump shared Rocky’s story — one the family said will not be in vain.

“We’re just regular people, but we’re regular people that are tired of everything that’s happening right now and we feel we’re not just fighting for us, we’re fighting for families in the future,” Jody said.

Wagner said he’s not scared to take on Walmart in fact, two years ago he won a $74-million lawsuit against the company.

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