Pregnant Shoplifting Suspect Shot by Walgreens Employee: Lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed against a former Walgreens employee who shot a pregnant woman seven times in a parking lot altercation last year, suspecting her of shoplifting lipstick. The incident, which took place on April 12, 2023, at a Walgreens store in Nashville, led to an emergency cesarean section to deliver the baby and caused lifelong health issues for the mother.

The woman, identified as 25-year-old Travonsha L. Ferguson, was confronted by the employee who did not identify himself. According to court documents, the employee aggressively accused Ferguson and her friend of theft, leading Ferguson to spray him with mace out of fear for her and her unborn child’s safety.

The shooting resulted in an emergency cesarean section to deliver the baby prematurely. The infant survived but now suffers from a heart defect. Ferguson, on the other hand, now requires a colostomy bag due to the injuries sustained during the incident.

The employee who shot Ferguson was subsequently fired from his job. He was not charged with a crime as he claimed self-defense, stating that he was unsure if Ferguson and her friend were armed and that he feared for his safety.

Ferguson’s attorney, L. Chris Stewart, questioned the self-defense claim, arguing that it was unlikely for the employee to have fired seven accurate shots if he had been sprayed with mace. He suggested that the mace was likely sprayed in the air or at the employee out of surprise.

The incident reportedly began when another employee informed the store team leader that two women were suspected of shoplifting. The team leader began recording the women, who were seen placing items into a cart and a large bag. He followed them outside when they left without paying for the merchandise. The team leader claimed that he fired his semi-automatic pistol after being sprayed with mace.

Following the shooting, the women drove away, and the team leader called 911. Ferguson was later dropped off at a hospital by her friend. She was charged with assault and theft of $1,000 or less, according to court records.

Stewart argued that regardless of the shoplifting accusation, the employee’s decision to follow Ferguson to the parking lot and shoot her was negligent and against policy. He insisted that Walgreens must be held accountable if the employee had been properly trained.

Ferguson’s mother, Shantanica Ferguson, expressed her distress over the incident, stating that her daughter did not deserve such treatment and that she deserves justice. Walgreens, in a statement after the shooting, emphasized that the safety of their patients, customers, and team members is their top priority and that they are cooperating with local authorities.