Posted on Jan 04, 2023

According to the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, a shooting occurred late in the evening on Thursday, December 8, 2022 at a Mobil/Circle K gas station. The gas station is located at West Brownlee Street near US 301 and State Road 16.

The victim of the shooting was a 36-year-old female. She was shot in the torso while she was outside of the store by a person in a red vehicle. That person was later identified as 18-year-old Cole W. Crosby. After the shooting, officials discovered the red vehicle roughly 1.7 miles from the gas station in the brush near the Sleepy Hollow Motel just North of Starke. According to sources, Crosby was staying at the Sleepy Hollow Motel.

The shooting is thought to be negligent rather than intentional. Sources say the shooter fired a round through the door of the vehicle from his 9mm handgun, which hit the female victim. Thereafter, the shooter fled the scene and attempted to get rid of the firearm in a wooded area nearby. Ultimately, the police arrested Crosby for Tampering with Evidence, Discharging a Firearm from a Vehicle, and Culpable Negligence.

Would a Gas Station Shooting Qualify as a Negligent Security Case?

You might be wondering what kind of civil claim a shooting victim could bring after being shot at a gas station. A negligent security case in Florida is a type of premises liability claim. Premises liability typically looks to whether a landowner or business took reasonable steps to remedy or fix hazardous conditions. In a negligent security case involving a shooting at a gas station, we typically look at whether the gas station owner or property took reasonable steps to deter foreseeable violent attacks on the gas station premises.

What Types of Attacks Typically Occur at Gas Stations?

The typical gas station negligent security case will involve one of the following types of criminal attacks:

  • Homicide;
  • Shooting;
  • Stabbing;
  • Armed robbery;
  • Sexual assault or rape; or
  • Some other violent criminal act.

The above list of criminal acts is not exhaustive, and any violent criminal attack may be the subject of a negligent security claim. Thus, if you or a loved one have been the victim of a criminal attack at a gas station, regardless of whether the specific type of attack is listed above, you may have a claim for negligent security.

What Questions Might We Ask to Determine if There is a Viable Negligent Security Claim After a Shooting at a Gas Station?

After a shooting at a gas station, we would want to know what safety measures would have been reasonable under the circumstances and whether these safety measures were neglected. For example, we might ask some of the following questions:

  • Were there any prior shootings at this particular gas station?
  • Was the area known for violent criminal activity?
  • Was there any connection between the shooter and the victim?
  • What safety equipment and procedures were implemented at the Circle K gas station?
  • Should the landowner or gas station own have put additional measures in place to deter crime?