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Family of man killed in Lauderdale Lakes Walmart shooting files lawsuit

Family of man killed in Lauderdale Lakes Walmart shooting files lawsuit
Family of man killed in Lauderdale Lakes Walmart shooting files lawsuit 02:36

FORT LAUDERDALE - As the holiday shopping season begins the family of a man who was gunned down at a Broward County Walmart while standing up for an employee is filing a lawsuit against the retail giant urging for more security to prevent such tragedies. 

"He was a great person. He was an awesome father to his kids" said Makia Ford the victim's girlfriend.

The heartbroken girlfriend of   41-year-old Thierry Bastien the man who was gunned down at a Lauderdale Lakes Walmart shares memories of the man she loved.

"Kids. He had great dreams of becoming a chef he wanted to open up a restaurant he could cook anything you asked him to cook anything," said Ford.

On the afternoon of May 2nd Bastien was shopping with Makia Ford and his two young children when he was shot and killed by an off-duty employee.

"It was traumatizing, still traumatizing, because I had my baby in my hand along with my other son."

According to BSO although 22-year-old Tironie Shavar Sterling was not working that day he went to the store to meet a female employee who had a relationship with...they began arguing and the dispute turned physical. But Bastien did not stand back.

"Thierry Bastien sat there with a choice where the woman being beaten on the floor, he decided to try to help out since no one was going to. He tried to peacefully intercede, and he was attacked by the attacker at that point in time" said Michael Haggard Bastien's Attorney.

It was a choice that cost him his life.

"He was taken to the ground as Makia and other customers screamed and screamed for several minutes. The shooter took out the gun and shot him six times he got off nine rounds before anyone from Walmart ever responded," said Haggard.

"He tried to intervene because nobody else intervened. He saved her life. There was no security, no Walmart employees he just tried to break up the altercation," said Ford.

The family has filed a wrongful death negligent security lawsuit.  Walmart released a statement -- saying "We're heartbroken over the incident that happened at the Lauderdale Lakes store in May and offer our heartfelt condolences to the family during this difficult time. We're just learning of this, and per policy don't comment on pending litigation."

Bastien's family is hoping no other family goes through a tragedy like this.

"When it happened my son, was only four months my son will never ever see his dad and he will never know who that is except for pictures and videos," said Ford.

According to Bastien's attorney, there is surveillance video that they will be using in their case. 

Sterling has been charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery.

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