ABC 13 reports that on Thursday around 1:45 a.m. six gunmen opened fire at The Royal Palms Apartments located on 5601 Royal Palms St, Houston, TX 77021. Four teenagers were injured in the shooting as they were outside in the common area. One of the four victims was hospitalized and is suffering from serious injuries.
Authorities claim the gunmen entered the complex through the pedestrian gate. They are unsure if the suspects were aiming for apartments, or the people in the common area outside.
No arrests have been made as police are still searching for the suspects.
Attorney contributor Marc Lenahan represents victims of apartment building shootings in civil lawsuits. Mr. Lenahan has offered to share his insight on the legal options available to these victims and their families.
It is the legal duty of all commercial property owners to keep their patrons and employees safe from the threat of preventable crime. To successfully fulfill this duty property owners must provide adequate security on their premises. This may include establishing secure fencing around the premises, hiring security guards, and installing video surveillance. If an apartment building owner fails to provide adequate security and an incident such as a shooting occurs due to their negligence, then the victims may have grounds for a lawsuit.
However, that is not all of the components needed for a property owner to be considered liable for a violent crime. A victim’s lawyer must also prove that the crime was reasonably foreseeable. An example of a reasonably foreseeable crime would be if that apartment complex had a previous history of criminal violence and no security improvements were made. Each case is unique, but in general if a reasonably foreseeable shooting occurs at an apartment building due to negligent security, then the owner may be held liable.
If you or a loved one has experienced something similar to this incident, you can learn more about your legal options by reviewing your case with a crime victim attorney.