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Man shot, killed at Village at the Creek apartments following a confrontation

Could the Village at the Creek apartment owners’ negligent actions lead to civil liability for a fatal shooting on the property?

Police say a man was shot and killed at the Village at the Creek apartments in DeKalb County following an argument he had with someone in a nearby vehicle.

The person in the vehicle left the scene of the shooting before police arrived. The victim was found laying in the street and was already deceased when officers arrived.

The victim’s name has not been released, but police say he was a man in his 20s. No arrests have been made and police are asking for anyone who may have witnessed the shooting or has a lead to come forward.

Is this Negligent Security under Georgia law?

Property owners in Georgia are required by state law to take reasonable security precautions if there is a chance of criminal activity occurring in the apartment community. To reduce violent crime, landlords and property managers may be required to implement suitable security measures such as visible video cameras, on-site security, perimeter fence with access-controlled gates, and even a guard station at the entrance gate.

The good news is that research has shown that apartment buildings outfitted with plainly visible security cameras, operable access-controlled gates, safe perimeter fencing, enough lighting, and, when required, professional security guards can lower violent crime.

A History of Negligence at the Village at the Creek Apartments

There have been other incidents at the Village the Creek apartments. In January 2021, three children were shot in the community, then called Lakes of Indian Creek apartments. In August 2020, 18-year-old DeMarco Williams was killed in a triple shooting at the same complex.

Residents of Village at the Creek apartments have left many online reviews decrying the unsafe conditions. One review warns “I highly do not recommend moving here… there is mold in the apartments, flooding, [and] A/C units don’t work.”

“Crime is horrible in this complex,” wrote another resident. “We had rats and even the maintenance were afraid to come in and try to fix the problem.”

Only Crime Victims or Their Relatives Can Demand Justice

Property owners in Georgia are required by law to take suitable precautions against potential crimes. Landlords and property management frequently end up promoting a cycle of violence if they do not tackle criminal activity occurring in the neighborhood.

Although law enforcement can find criminals and bring them to justice, there isn't much they can do to persuade property owners to take measures against crime on their property, and they are unable to make amends to the families of the victims.

Only those who have survived a violent crime or the victim's family are eligible to file a civil lawsuit against property owners and managers. Even though it will never fully compensate for the anguish caused by violent crime, a civil judgment can help with expenditures like medical bills and lost wages as well as serve as a starting point for recovery.

Importantly, property owners and managers could feel the pressure to take precautions to prevent future violent crimes on their property when crime victims win a sizable monetary compensation.

Together we can Make Atlanta Safe, one community at a time.

We believe that when violent crime occurs on a property, the owners and management should be held accountable if they were aware of the risk, if they failed to warn patrons and guests, and if they did not implement reasonable security measures. The law is on our side. But only the survivors of violent crimes and the families of victims can stand up and demand justice. We can help.

It is up to survivors and their families to demand justice.

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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