Could a negligent security lawsuit loom for RaceTrac gas station's owner after a fatal shooting leaves one dead and four others injured?
The Atlanta Police Department responded to reports of gunfire at a RaceTrac gas station in Atlanta. Upon arrival, they found four individuals suffering from gunshot wounds, two of whom were students from the nearby Georgia State University. The gas station is situated across from a student housing complex and a Georgia State University dining facility.
Although initial reports indicated that all four victims had survived, 19-year-old De’Asia Hart, who had sustained the most severe injuries, later passed away.
Law enforcement authorities believe the shooting stemmed from an altercation between two groups. The police are urging anyone with additional information to come forward and assist with the ongoing investigation.
In Georgia, property and business owners, such as Georgia State University and RaceTrac, are obligated to secure their premises, especially if there's a known history of criminal activity nearby. Measures they could take include requesting identification from customers, deterring criminal activity, installing conspicuous surveillance cameras, employing on-site security staff, and ensuring proper lighting in the area. Authorities suggest that implementing these actions can help reduce violent crimes in areas where people work, live, or frequent.
Online reviews indicate the gas station was known for being in an unsafe location. Reviews frequently mention that the store is often closed for security reasons, including this reviewer who states, “Yet here we are again. The store is closed. Not to mention there no security in this plaza. Not safe!”
In Georgia, property and business owners must safeguard individuals on their premises by implementing measures to prevent foreseeable criminal activities. Failure to address such concerns may lead to an unwelcome cycle of reoccurring violations.
Although law enforcement plays a crucial role in capturing offenders and pursuing justice, they do not have the authority to force property owners to stop crimes nor can they mandate financial compensation for victims and their relatives.
Those who have survived a violent crime or the relatives of victims have legal recourse in the form of civil lawsuits. A civil judgment can help with expenses like medical bills and missed wages through this route, providing as a critical starting point for healing. However, it is important to recognize that monetary compensation cannot totally heal the immense pain caused by violent crime.
Regrettably, property owners and managers often delay implementing preventative safety measures until they are confronted with significant financial consequences through legal action. This is an additional motive for victims or their families to seek justice.
Together we can Make Atlanta Safe, one community at a time.
Only the survivors of violent crimes or the families of victims can use the civil court system to hold property owners and managers accountable when they fail to take reasonable precautions to protect tenants and guests from known threats. By holding them accountable, we can motivate property owners to make meaningful changes to prevent violent crime from happening to others. In that way, together, we can help Make Atlanta Safe.
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