Posted on Dec 18, 2023

On the evening of September 27, 2023, a 20-year-old man was shot and killed at Zip’s Car Wash in North Charleston, South Carolina on Rivers Avenue. The shooting occurred around 7:45pm. When officers arrived on the scene, the victim was reportedly on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound. Although EMS tried to save the young man, he ultimately died from his wounds.

Subsequently, police arrested 27-year-old Jeremy Diquan Keyes in connection with the fatal shooting. He was charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Can You Bring a Lawsuit in South Carolina After a Shooting on a Business Property?

scene of shooting at North Charleston, SC car washSometimes you can. When someone is shot on a business property, there’s usually going to be criminal charges against the attacker. That’s obvious. However, there may also be a claim for negligent security.

A negligent security lawsuit is a way to hold South Carolina business owners responsible when they don’t take proper steps to deter crime on the property and someone gets hurt as a result. Essentially, business owners may turn a blind eye to crime, which in turn attracts more crime to the property. Think of it this way: Criminals tend to pick locations where they commit crimes based on the likelihood of getting away with that crime. In other words, sometimes the business owner’s failure to failure to take steps to deter crime is why a person gets shot, stabbed, or otherwise attacked on a property.

The business owner’s argument is usually that they did nothing wrong, and they like to blame the criminal for the crime. However, when they ignore crime on the property and someone gets hurt, it’s akin to throwing chum in the water and then blaming the shark when someone gets attacked. If we can show that there was crime in the area or prior crimes on the property where an attack occurred, it’s difficult for a business owner to successfully argue that they did nothing wrong.

Ultimately, every case is unique, and whether a violent criminal attack can serve as the basis for a negligent security case will depend on the facts of the case. However, South Carolina allows victims to pursue a negligent security claim if a business owner was negligent. Thus, you and your negligent security attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the violent criminal attack to determine if there’s a viable claim for negligence.