A Mount Pleasant man was shot to death at the Ashley Oaks Apartments located at 78 Ashley Hall Plantation Road in West Ashley. The shooting occurred sometimes around 9:00pm on December 2, 2023.
Upon arriving on the scene, police found 31-year-old Collin Potter shot in his car. Soon thereafter, Potter was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina where he later died. Two teenagers, 18-year-old Antonio Fludd, Jr. and a yet unidentified 16-year-old, were subsequently arrested and charged with the murder of Potter.
A brief search of the Ashley Oaks apartment complex reveals that this is not the first shooting that’s happened there. In July 2015, a man was shot and wounded at the property. In June 2014, another person was shot and wounded at the property. That’s not all. Two men were shot and killed at the Ashley Oaks apartment complex in July of 2018.
Just doing a quick search on Google, I found multiple shooting incidents at this apartment complex. This begs the question: What security measures did the apartment complex put in place to deter violent crime and/or protect guests and visitors?
Pursuing a Negligent Security Claim Against a South Carolina Apartment Complex with a History of Violent Crimes
When tragedy strikes at a place people call home, it is not just a matter of personal loss but also a question of safety and responsibility. If you or a loved one have been affected by violence in an apartment complex, you might be wondering about your legal options. Specifically, you might be wondering if there’s a civil cause of action that you can bring against a South Carolina apartment complex with a history of violent crimes.
Understanding Negligent Security
Negligent security is a type of case that falls under the broader umbrella of premises liability. A claimant can bring a negligent security case when a property owner fails to take reasonable steps to secure a premises against foreseeable crimes and then someone gets hurt or killed as a result.
The Pattern of Violence at the Apartment Complex
Taking the example of Ashley Oaks Apartments in West Ashley, which appears to have a history of shootings, the pattern of violent crime raises significant concerns about the safety measures in place. In South Carolina, property owners and managers have a duty to ensure the safety of their residents and guests. When they breach this duty by failing to implement reasonable security measures in the face of foreseeable violent crime and someone gets hurt or killed, they may be held liable for the victim’s losses or for a deceased victim’s family’s losses.
Building Your Case
To build a strong negligent security case, the claimant must establish that the property owner was aware, or should have been aware, of the high risk of crime but failed to take appropriate security measures. The claimant must also show that the victim, whether it’s the claimant or the claimant’s deceased family member, was hurt or killed as a result of the inadequate security. Documenting the history of violence at the property is a crucial step because this historical context demonstrates a pattern that should have prompted action.
In this situation, the claimant could point to shootings that have occurred at the apartment complex in the past as a way of showing foreseeability. The claimant could also ask what security measures the property owner put in place after shootings in the past. Then, it would be on the property owner to explain how the shooting wasn’t foreseeable and how the security at the apartment complex was reasonable in light of the history of violence.
Your Legal Path Forward
If you or a family member was injured due to inadequate security at an apartment complex, you should at least speak with a negligent security lawyer about what happened. We offer free legal consultations, and we’re happy to talk with you.
At the end of the day, it's not just about seeking justice for yourself; it's about holding the property accountable and making our communities safer. You can’t put a business in jail; that’s just now how it works. However, you can potentially make these businesses pay for the harm they cause, and this can influence other businesses to consider not just the cost of implementing security but the cost of not implementing security.