Family of woman killed in Hickory workplace shooting files wrongful death lawsuit

HICKORY, N.C. — A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a Hickory furniture plant and its owner and two supervisors after a January 2021 deadly workplace shooting.

Tangela Parker, 50, and her 62-year-old husband Eric Parker, were arrested in August after eluding authorities for six months following the shooting. Tangela is accused of killing Michelle Marlow at Tangela’s workplace, TCS Designs in Hickory.

Channel 9′s Dave Faherty learned of the lawsuit against TCS Designs when Tangela appeared before a judge Wednesday morning.

Marlow’s family said they want an apology from TCS Designs and justice for Marlow after her murder inside the plant.

“I want an apology. That ain’t just what I want, I want justice, I want justice. An apology ain’t gonna bring my wife back,” said Justin Marlow, Michelle’s husband.

The lawsuit claims that before the deadly shooting the company learned Tangela Parker had threatened violence against Marlow but supervisors didn’t follow company guidelines and fire her.

That included an incident where a manager heard Parker threaten to “wipe the floor” with Marlow and whip her butt.

“Even after she had made threats of serious, serious harm against Michelle, just weeks before, and they still allowed her to comeback,” said attorney Lyndon Helton.


The lawsuit said the company should have terminated her employment but claimed that because she was married to Eric, who was a highly valued supervisor at TCS Designs and is included in the lawsuit. She was only suspended for three days.

The court documents said the company and its owner believed that “if they terminated Tangela Parker, Eric Parker would leave the company and that “TCS’s profitability would suffer.”

Police said days after the suspension, Tangela shot and killed Michelle Marlow inside the plant before fleeing with her husband.

U.S. Marshals said they worked more than 30 leads across eight states before discovering that the Parkers were staying at an Arizona home under the fake names of Jason and Elizabeth Reardon.

After being transferred to the Hickory Police Department in August, Tangela was charged with one count of murder and Eric Parker was charged with one count of accessory after the fact.

In September, Eric had his bond reduced to $125,000 and Tangela’s was set at $250,000.

TCS Designs said, “no comment” regarding the lawsuit.

[WATCH BELOW: Fugitive couple accused in fatal workplace shooting face judge]