BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The family of a prison counselor gunned down outside the Target on Stockdale Highway is suing the corporation, alleging there was inadequate security despite a long history of criminal activity in the area.
The suit, filed Wednesday by Rodriguez & Associates on behalf of the family of Benny Alcala, alleges Target was negligent and failed to properly maintain the property, resulting in noise complaints, vandalism and violent crime to occur on the premises.
“There is a well-documented history of criminal activity at that store location,” attorney Daniel Rodriguez said.
In the past five years, he said, there have been 679 calls for police service. More than 20 were for violent crimes, including strong-arm robbery and assault, he said.
A hearing on the suit has not been scheduled.
On the night of Aug. 24, 2022, Alcala, 43, was shot and killed while charging an electric vehicle outside the store.
Robert Pernell Roberts, 30, and Sebastian Parra, 23, are charged with murder and attempted robbery in his death. Parra testified at a preliminary hearing that Roberts targeted Alcala after seeing the electric vehicle and figuring he had money.
Parra has denied involvement in the killing. He said he met Roberts that night.
The two are due back in court on Nov. 1. They’re being held without bail.