The Houston law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is hosting a press conference on Friday, May 12 th at 11:00 a.m. to discuss the lawsuit. .
Firm Partner Benny Agosto, Jr. of the law offices of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner has filed a lawsuit today against Equality-Lakeline, LLC, Equality Community Housing Corporation, and J Allen Management Company, Inc. (“Defendants”), for failure to secure its premises that resulted in the mass shooting that occurred at the Haverstock Hill Apartments located at 5619 Aldine Bender Road, Houston, Texas 77032, on March 26, 2017. Two individuals were killed and four others, including a former America’s Next Top Model contestant, were critically wounded.
It is reported that an argument between neighbors erupted, continuing for more than thirty minutes. Then, three men who did not reside at Haverstock Hills Apartments drove into the apartment complex in a white vehicle, through the wide-open, front entrance gate. The men exited the vehicle and began arguing with the victims, escalating the argument. One of the suspects walked to the trunk of the vehicle and pulled out a semi-automatic assault rifle. Multiple rounds were fired into the crowd. Wayne Rusher was shot in the head and killed. Christopher Beatty, was rushed to the hospital and later pronounced dead. The four other individuals, Arthur Larkin, Jr., Brandy Rusher, Isaiah Rusher, and a 16-year-old girl, were also rushed to the hospital. Wayne Rusher, Brandy Rusher, and Isaiah Rusher were siblings; Christopher Beatty and Brandy Rusher were in a relationship. Arthur Larkin, Jr. is Christopher Beatty’s older brother. The surviving victims have undergone numerous surgeries to-date and continue medical treatment daily with extensive treatment into the future.
The Haverstock Hills Apartment complex is no stranger to extreme violence, as violent crimes have occurred there on a regular basis for many years. Over the past several years, thousands of calls have been placed for the help and service of law enforcement at the Haverstock Hills Apartments. Most, if not all, of the deaths of residents occurring on the premises were caused by individuals who did not live at the Haverstock Hills Apartments but were able to enter the premises due to the lack of security.
The Defendants in this lawsuit, the property owners and property managers, knew at the time of this shooting that the complex and its vicinity was the site of frequent criminal activity, including violent assaults, robberies, and even murders. The crimes are well documented by numerous calls for help and assistance to the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sherriff’s Office from the residents of the Haverstock Hills Apartments.
Yet, Defendants failed to provide adequate security on the premises. The duty to make the property safe for their residents was reasonable, but unfortunately ignored. Certain security measures were already in place, but left unused. For example, a security guard station was built at the property’s entrance for just that purpose-for a security guard, however it remained unmanned. The property was equipped with vehicle entrance and exit gates, however, the gates have remained wide-open, and have not worked for nine years. The property is equipped with cameras, but not all of the cameras worked. The property has minimal outdoor lighting, but a majority of the complex remains dark, and unlit during evening hours. Accordingly, Defendants’ duty was not only reasonable, but could have been easily fulfilled had Defendants simply utilized the pre-existing security infrastructure already in place on the property, and put into place additional reasonable security measures to prevent these kinds of incidents occurring to their residents.
The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is hosting a press conference on Friday, May 12 th at 11:00 a.m. to answer questions regarding the lawsuit. The press conference is open to all media and will be held at the firm’s office, located at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, TX, 77002. For questions regarding the press conference, please call Madison Slovacek at or email her at [email protected].
Benny Agosto, Jr. is a Partner at the Houston personal injury law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner. For questions regarding the lawsuit, contact Mr. Agosto at or [email protected].