Mother of store clerk killed in robbery files wrongful death lawsuit against convenience store

Pollyanna Smotherman, 40, of Cibolo, died July 29, 2020

Family seeks answers one year after gas station clerk’s murder in Garden Ridge

SAN ANTONIO – Nearly two years after a store clerk was fatally shot during a convenience store robbery in Garden Ridge, her mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her daughter’s employer for having “several security deficiencies.”

Pollyanna Smotherman, 40, of Cibolo, was killed in the early morning hours of July 29, 2020, after a man walked into the store with a gun, shot her and stole an undisclosed amount of cash and lottery tickets. The man then took off from the scene, according to police.

The crime happened at about 3 a.m. at the E-Z Mart in the 19500 block of FM 3009.

The civil lawsuit, filed March 22 by Virginia Smotherman on behalf of Pollyanna Smotherman’s estate, alleges that this was not the first time an E-Z Mart employee died in a workplace incident. Following an investigation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the lawsuit documents claim that E-Z Mart had “several notable security deficiencies.”

According to lawsuit documents, the security deficiencies include:

  • Inadequate exterior lights
  • Lack of physical barrier with pass-through windows
  • Failure to have proper policy and training
  • No documented inspections of location related to security
  • Failure to have signs on the entrance doors stating that there was limited cash in the registers
  • Failure to have height markers on entrance doors that allow for height identification of criminals or suspects

The civil lawsuit also alleges that the convenience store didn’t provide workers compensation benefits to Pollyanna, which led to her mother filing the lawsuit for wrongful death benefits.

Virginia is hoping for justice and “to prevent other similar deaths from occurring in the future,” the lawsuit states. She is seeking over $1 million in relief.

At last check, no arrests have been made in connection to Pollyanna’s death. The suspect is described as a man in his 20s-30s and was wearing a black shirt, dark pants and a red bandana over his face at the time of the crime, police said. He was also carrying a tote bag.

The Comal County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the suspect.

Anyone with information can call the Garden Ridge Police Department at 210-651-6441 or Comal County Crime Stoppers at 830-620-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be left online at http://comalcrimestoppers.org/ or via the “P3 Tips” smartphone app available on iOS and Android devices.

Robbery happened at 3 a.m. Wednesday at the EZ Mart in the 19500 block of FM 3009.

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