Daughter of slain ESL security guard sues Schnucks

Andrea Dearden May 12, 2011, 9:34am


The daughter of an East St. Louis security guard is suing the man she says shot her father and the store where it allegedly happened.

Ashley L. Groom filed the lawsuit against Schnuck Markets Inc. and Rodney L. Wesley April 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. Groom is the administrator of the estate of her father, Wayne H. Groom.

According to the complaint, Wayne Groom worked for Hamilton Security as a security guard. In April 2009, Groom was assigned to provide security for the Schnuck Market on State Street in East Saint Louis.

The night of April 14, Wayne Groom allegedly helped a Schnuck's employee detain a suspected shoplifter, Rodney Wesley. Ashley Groom says the employee and her father escorted Wesley to a "holding room" which she says was actually a break room.

The store employee allegedly exited, leaving Wayne Groom and Wesley alone in the break room. Groom says there was a scuffle between the two men during which Wesley allegedly grabbed the security guard's gun.

Wesley allegedly shot Wayne Groom in the head. The security guard died that night.

Ashley Groom contends Schnuck Markets was negligent for failing to protect her father and ensure his safety. She says it was store policy that a security guard was only to act as a back-up to store employees but says that policy was not followed the night her father was allegedly killed. Groom says the store failed to properly train staff on how to handle situations.

Groom accuses Wesley of wrongful death for allegedly shooting and killing her father.

Groom is asking for more than $50,000 in damages from Schnuck Markets and Wesley.

Attorney John L. Bitzer of Collinsville is representing Groom.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-0194

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