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Billings couple suing grocery chain after knife attack by employee

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Posted at 7:27 PM, Oct 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-29 15:54:54-04

BILLINGS — Months after a gruesome attack in the parking lot of a Missoula grocery store, the trauma still lives with Dylan Turner and his wife Joselin. Now they are taking action to hold a major Montana grocery chain accountable for what they say is negligence.

“I had a full arterial laceration,” said Dylan Turner, referring to his right arm.

“I was a mechanic so now I can't turn wrenches,” he said. “I haven't been to the gym since July.”

Going to the gym was something Turner loved to do and so was his job working on cars. Now he can't do either anymore. He’s been out of work since late July when the attack happened.

“We were driving through the Albertsons parking lot and saw someone, an employee there, pushing a line of carts,” said Dylan.

But what happened next was completely unexpected.

In the Tremper’s Shopping Center in Missoula, the Turners were headed to the hardware store to grab a few things, just a few doors down from the Albertsons store.

“He starts aggressively charging at me throwing his hands up, and then starts pogo-ing around like he's inebriated or something,” said Dylan.

That employee is Shane Davis, who is now in jail in Missoula County facing charges of assault with a weapon, tampering with evidence, and parole violation

Shane Davis

Court documents say officers responded to the parking lot of the shopping center for a knife attack and found Dylan bleeding profusely from his right arm.

Dylan and Joselin had just parked and left their vehicle when Davis approached yelling and then cut him with a knife.

The knife sliced Dylan’s right arm and cut his artery.

“It doesn't fully move the way it used to,” he said.

Billings couple suing Albertsons grocery chain after knife attack by employee
Billings couple suing grocery chain after knife attack by employee

Davis, who was on shift at Albertsons, grabbed a concealed knife from his belonging at the store and targeted Dylan.

“This is something you don't expect when you walk out of your house in the morning to go somewhere and do something, that you're going to get attacked by a total stranger,” said Joselin.

Now the Turners are filing suit against Albertsons for negligent hiring and supervision of Davis.

“I'm looking for them to take responsibility for this situation,” said Dylan. “I mean it's obvious that he shouldn't have been.”

Read the complaint here.

The Turners believe Albertsons should be liable for the actions of Davis. And because of the attack, both Turners are suffering emotional distress, and both have experienced physical symptoms including PTSD.

Their argument is simple: Albertsons had an obligation to supervise their employee who has a known and documented history of mental distress and was on parole for previous crimes in Missoula.

“One of my close friends literally put the guy's first and last name into Google, and he has articles pulled upon him for all sorts of, crazy other situations,” said Dylan.

Davis was previously convicted of breaking into a Missoula home and exposing himself to a 3-year-old girl, which landed him in the state’s psychiatric hospital. And, according to documents obtained from Missoula County, Davis also has a pending theft and forgery charge.

In response, MTN News reached out to Albertsons headquarters for comment, but company officials did not respond to two emails and phone calls.

At last check, Albertson’s media contact line still had a voicemail box full and couldn’t accept any voice messages.

Joselin says her husband has been through a traumatic ordeal.

“I literally made him stay in bed for two weeks,” she said after the attack. “He feels bad because, you know, he can't take care of me like he wants to.”

And Dylan is coping with the fact that his injury has put him out of a career he loves, but also is preventing him from finding more work.

“I get like weird sharp shooting pains in my arm,” he said. “My right arm that got stabbed is probably 80% weaker than it was.”

They moved to Billings from Missoula to start over, but Dylan fears his physical injury and the emotional scar it left may never heal.

“I'm worried I'm going to be, you know, debilitated in the long term because of an injury like this.”