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2000-02-12
Castle Rock, CO. Murder in Wal-Mart Parking Lot

On the afternoon of February 7, 2000, 42 year old Richard Loiacono was shot and killed in the parking lot of a new Wal-Mart supercenter in Castle Rock. The murder was the final act in a drawn out series of domestic violence reports and restraining orders. The murderer was Arnold Pardun, a 38 year old United Airlines mechanic. Pardun was enmeshed in a bitter divorce, including a mysterious explosion that destroyed his home of his ex-wife. Despite the fact that Pardun was wanted by local police on trespassing and domestic violence charges, he went to the Castle Rock Wal-Mart looking for Loiacono. Inside the store, Loiacono spotted Pardun first, and chased him through the Wal-Mart, past an off-duty policeman, and out into the parking lot, yelling that Pardun was wanted by the police. Once in the parking lot, Pardun raced to his green Toyota hatchback, pulled out a handgun, and killed Loiacono on the spot. As authorities closed in, Pardun then shot and killed himself.

What you can do: A random act of violence -- or a growing problem for large shopping malls? In many new Wal-Mart supsercenters you will find surveillance cameras mounted on the store's roofline. Both the parking lot and the interior store are under visual surveillance. Such precautions are generally used to prevent "shrinkage" for the stores -- stolen merchandise. But over the years, Sprawl-Busters has recounted many examples of violent crimes, such as rape, kidnapping and murder that has taken place in Wal-Mart parking lots. This is a subject you won't see mentioned in any Wal-Mart Mr. Smiley ads on TV. Last spring, in Jefferson County Texas, a District Court judge fined Wal-Mart $18 million for a "pattern of false and misleading discovery answers" in a premises liability case involving kidnapping and rape. The plaintiff was trying to get Wal-Mart to release a study it had conducted in 1993 showing that 80% of crimes at Wal-Mart occur in the parking lot. The Castle Rock murder at Wal-Mart is just a piece of a larger security issue that is facing many large retailers today. Wal-Mart says they have adequate security in their parking lots -- but it was not enough to save the life of Richard Loiacono.










 
 
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