NEGLIGENT SECURITY CASE RESULT: $1.8 Million to Family of Murdered Father
Del Rio Apartment Complex Owners Ignored Multiple Requests from Staff to Increase Security
Tampa – The companies that once owned the Avesta Del Rio Apartment Complex have agreed to pay the family of 23-year-old murder victim Damian Bowie $1.8 million to settle a negligent security lawsuit. The lawsuit filed by Douglas McCarron of The Haggard Law Firm (www.haggardlawfirm.com) alleged that the deadly 2014 shooting that claimed Bowie’s life could have been prevented if complex ownership took action after multiple requests by staff members to better secure the property.
On March 2, 2014, Bowie visited the Del Rio apartments (5013 E. Sligh Avenue, Tampa) to spend time with friends before going to pick up his son Damian Jr. But, shortly before 4 p.m. that day, the father of three was assaulted, shot and killed on the property.
“Through the course of our investigation, which included testimony by the defendant’s property manager, it was clear that the employees at the property were pleading for more security and consistently telling upper management how people’s lives were are risk. Instead of acting responsibly, the defendant simply turned a blind eye” said McCarron.
The lawsuit against 5013 Sligh LLC and Avesta Homes on behalf of the victim’s mother and his three children Damian Jr. (5), Damion (3) and Sincere (2 – born two months after his father was killed), alleged the property’s owners knew the area and property were considered high crime areas. McCarron adds, “unfortunately their inaction allowed this tragedy to occur and now three young boys will never see their father again.”
The lawsuit highlights:
- Testimony from a property manager and documented crime statistics that confirm the complex and area that surrounds is a high crime area.
- An email sent by Kerrie Richardson, property manager of the complex at the time of the shooting, to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department requesting an off duty police officer (sent six months before the murder) because of the amount of crime
- An email from Richardson to corporate for directions on what to do with a tenant that asked for termination of their lease after they were robbed at gunpoint and had their car broken into in just three months.
- A request by Richardson to property owners asking for expanded security for daytime hours. Bowie was murdered at 4 p.m.
The victim’s family members hope new attention on this case will help police. No one has been charged in the crime.
It should be noted that the defendants in this case currently do NOT own the Avesta Del Rio Complex.