Will the Parc 1000 apartments owners be found at least partially civilly liable in the shooting death of a high school student on the premises?
Police say a high school student was shot at the Parc 1000 apartments in DeKalb County. He was found unconscious outside a building at the complex and transported to the hospital where he died.
A 17-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the shooting. Police say the teen shot the unnamed high school student in the head, killing him, and that it was not a random act of violence.
When apartment management disregards potential criminal activity, maintenance issues, or security threats, and fails to take important steps to protect residents and visitors from those dangers, they could be encouraging a situation that invites more crime. In Georgia, landlords are obligated to take necessary security precautions to deter potential crimes, and they run the danger of legal consequences if they don't.
The good news is that apartment complexes that install visible security cameras, secure perimeter fencing with working access-controlled gates, adequate lighting, and when the presence of criminal activity warrants, hire a private security guard has been shown to reduce violent crime.
In November 2021, a 1-year-old child was kidnapped from in front of the Parc 1000 complex when a car was stolen with the child inside.
The list of complaints in online reviews includes worries about criminal activity, poor lighting, and pest infestations. One reviewer states that there is “not enough lighting on the grounds to walk at night.” They also report that many apartments have “broken blinds or even cardboard in their windows which makes half the complex look abandoned.”
Another reviewer wrote about hearing gunfire every day. Maintenance and pest issues are bad enough that another reviewer suggested “the apartments need to be torn down completely.”
Georgia law requires property owners to take sensible steps to prevent foreseeable crimes. When they ignore criminal activity occurring in the community, landlords may be contributing to the cycle of violence.
While law enforcement can detain criminals and bring them to justice, there isn't much they can do to force property owners to take steps to prevent crime on their property – nor can they compensate the victims' families.
Only the survivors of violent crime, or the victim's family, can file a civil lawsuit against property owners and managers. Even though it would never be able to entirely make up for the anguish brought on by a violent criminal attack, a civil judgment can assist with expenses like medical bills and lost income as well as act as a starting point toward healing.
When crime victims are awarded significant financial compensation, property owners and managers may feel pressured to adopt the necessary precautions to deter such violent crimes on their property.
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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