Distributing surveillance video was released for the first time showing a smash-and-grab jewelry store robbery at a Texas mall in 2017 that resulted in the shooting death of a shopper.
The victim, retired US Marine Jonathan Murphy, died in the arms of his wife, Aimee, after shielding her from bullets during a gunfire exchange between the robbers and an armed Good Samaritan at the Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio in January 2017.
Jonathan and Aimee Murphy had gone to the Kay Jewelers store at the mall on the afternoon of January 22 to have their wedding rings cleaned.
A screenshot from surveillance video recorded on January 22, 2017, shows Aimee and Jonathan Murphy at Kay Jewelers inside the Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio
The couple were having their wedding rings cleaned when a pair of armed robbers ran inside the store
One of the suspects is seen in the screenshot above using a hammer to smash display cases and grab merchandise, while the other points a gun at workers
Shopper Ryan Brockett (center) rushed inside the store with his gun drawn and opened fire on the robbers in an attempt to stop the heist
Nearly four years later, Aimee Murphy has filed a civil lawsuit against the Rolling Oaks Mall and its parent company, Washington Prime Group Inc, alleging that the shopping center failed to display signs at all entrances notifying customers that guns were not allowed on the premises, as KENS5 first reported.
The plaintiff’s attorney argued that had there been signs, Good Samaritan Ryan Brockett would not have brought his gun inside the mall and would not have attempted to stop the heist.
In the surveillance video that was released this week by Aimee’s lawyer, the Murphy couple can be seen admiring watches while waiting for their wedding bands.
Two armed men run into the store. One of them proceeds to smash display cases with a hammer and grab merchandise by the fistfuls, while his accomplice trains his gun on store workers.
Moments later, Brockett, seen in a black T-shirt with white lettering across the back, pulls out his gun and opens fire at the thieves, who return fire as they flee.
During the shootout, Jonathan was struck by multiple rounds rounds as he tried to protect his wife.
Jonathan, a retired Marine, was struck by several rounds during the shootout and died in wife Aimee’s arms
Jason Prieto (left) and Jose Luis Rojas (right), both 35, were arrested and charged in connection to the botched robbery. Rojas was sentenced to life in prison in 2018
Aimee Murphy is now suing the Rolling Oaks Mall and its parent company, claiming the shopping center failed to display signs at all entrances barring guns
The 42-year-old retired Marine and married father-of-four collapsed to the floor and drew his last breath in Aimee’s arms.
Aimee previously reached a private settlement with Brockett over his role in the deadly shootout.
According to the new lawsuit, the Good Samaritan did not know that he could not bring his gun inside the mall because he never saw signs barring customers from carrying firearms on the premises.
‘There’s no way for the person walking into the mall to know they have the no-gun policy unless they actually stumble upon one of these signs that they’ve testified to that they don’t really prominently display,’ Stanley Bernstein, Aimee Murphy’s attorney, told News 4 SA.
The widowed mother-of-four is seeking unspecified damages.
In April 2018, one of the two suspected robbers, Jose Luis Rojas, 35, pleaded guilty to murder and aggravated robbery and was sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison.
His alleged accomplice, 35-year-old Jason Matthew Prieto, is still awaiting trial.
Shoppers with their children sob after San Antonio police helped them exit the Rolling Oaks Mall after the deadly shooting on January 22, 2017
Aimee’s lawyer, Stanley Bernstein (left), argued that there was no way for Brockett to know the mall had a no-guns policy. Jonathan Murphy is survived by his four children
Authorities believe it was Prieto who fired the shots that killed Murphy.
Prieto has a long criminal history, according to News4 San Antonio.
He has previously been incarcerated for a year and a half for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2002, and assault with bodily injury the year after.
In 2016, police arrested him for two car break-ins, two theft charges, and a slew of drug charges. One of the break ins occurred just a month after he was released from prison.
He has also plead guilty to four charges of possession of marijuana from 2000 to 2010, the last of which was a third degree felony that landed him back in prison.