Could the owners of Life at Glen Hollow be considered civilly culpable in the fatal shooting?
Dekalb County police are investigating after finding a man shot dead and surrounded by 60 to 90 bullet casings. The shooting occurred at the Life at Glen Hollow apartment complex around 1 a.m. on December 29, 2021. The family of the deceased later identified him as Bruce Gains Jr., a 32 year old man and father of seven children. Police have indicated that they believe, likely from the number of bullet casings, that there was more than one shooter. They also believe the shooting may have been the result of an altercation earlier that day. The investigation remains ongoing.
Under Georgia law, property owners may be held liable if they do not take reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable crimes. If crime is a foreseeable issue on the property, these landlords and property managers are required to take reasonable measures to protect tenants and guests. Installing security cameras, perimeter fencing with automatic gates, hiring security, and ensuring that the complex has adequate lighting are all examples of measures that might be reasonable measures to take to prevent crime.
Online reviews reveal resident concerns over crime and security. “It’s supposed to be a gated community but the gate stays open for anyone to come in,” one resident writes. Another exclaims that it is “unbelievable how bad an apartment can be.” One reviewer warns prospective tenants “do not, I repeat, do not move here.” Another states “we hear . . . shooting constantly.” “The life at Glen Hollow pays people for five star reviews,” one reviewer cautions prospective readers.
When foreseeable crime occurs that could have been prevented by reasonable measures, the owners and managers could be held liable for the damages. It is up to the families of the victims of violent crime to demand justice in the civil court system. In some cases, it is possible to obtain a monetary recovery that can help a family move forward from a tragedy while also providing landlords the incentive they need to make the necessary changes to their properties so a similar tragedy doesn’t happen in the future. 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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