Longs Food Lion murder victim’s family sues company, claims negligence

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CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The family of the man shot and killed in a Food Lion parking lot in Horry County last year is suing the grocery chain.

The family of Gerard Celentano filed the lawsuit against Food Lion in 15th circuit court Thursday. The suit doesn’t specify how much the family is looking for in damages.

Investigators say on the night of Aug. 15, 2018, Celentano was waiting to pick up his wife from work at the Food Lion location in Longs on state highway 9, when he was murdered. Celentano was 57 years old.

Three men in custody in connection to the August 15, 2018 shooting death in a Food Lion parking lot in Longs.

Three men from Tabor City, North Carolina, are in jail, facing charges for their roles in the robbery and shooting. James Bellamy and Stephon Miller are charged with murder. Rodney Gore is charged with accessory before the fact to a felony.

The lawsuit claims Food Lion’s negligence led to Celentano’s death. The suit says the store did not have a working video surveillance system. It also claims Food Lion failed to properly hire and train employees to handle situations like this one.

The suit goes on to say Food Lion was obligated to create a safe environment for customers and others on the store’s property. Lawyers for the family said in the months before the shooting, there were several violent and other crimes in the Longs area.

News13 reached out to Food Lion representatives for a response Friday, but did not hear back.

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