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Victim in Renton theater shooting sues gunman

She was shot inside a Renton movie theater on Jan. 21, 2016. (KOMO file photo)

SEATTLE -- A Seattle woman who was shot in the back at a movie theater in Renton last year is suing the gunman.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in King County Superior Court, claims Dane Gallion “was negligent in many respects” when he shot Michelle Mallari inside the theater.

On January 21, 2016, Gallion brought a gun into the theater while intoxicated and accidentally fired the shot that hit Mallari in the back, breaking her clavicle.

Gallion plead guilty to third-degree assault last September. He was released from jail in July.

Mallari doesn’t think his jail sentence was long enough.

The 42-year-old still deals with plenty of pain – both physical and emotional. She still feels fear and anxiety in some public spaces, though she says family and coworkers have helped her through the toughest moments.

She hasn’t been to a movie since that night.

“It’s challenging,” Mallari said. “I think about it often. I just try to do things to keep myself busy.”


She says she still has a scar on her chest from the gunshot. It’s a daily reminder of what happened and what could have been.

“I just thank God I’m alive,” she said.

The lawsuit claims Mallari continues to suffer “permanent and painful injuries, personal damage and disability, emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and other general damages.”

Mallari’s lawyer, Karen Koehler, says they still have not decided how much money they will seek in damages.

KOMO News attempted to reach Dane Gallion. His lawyer did not reply to our messages, and two people claiming to be family members of Gallion declined to comment.

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