The Columbus community is seeking answers in the death of 33-year-old La Costa Williams, a father of five who was reportedly shot at the Booker T. Washington Apartments in Columbus Monday afternoon, October 27, 2014.
According to WTVM News, Columbus police responded to reports of multiple gunshots at the Booker T. Washington Apartments around 4:00pm Monday afternoon. Officers apparently discovered Mr. Williams suffering from at least one gunshot wound upon arrival. Tragically, he perished at the scene.
Family and friends are now celebrating his life as they mourn his passing. Mr. Williams’ sisters, Brittani Douglas and Latitta Norris, reportedly spoke with media about their loss:
“It’s hard for our family to grasp this situation, the kids have so many questions that we’re not able to answer right now. He loved his family, he did any and everything we asked of him. Just a great father, he’s going to be truly missed,” said Ms. Douglas.
Edward Powell worked with Mr. Williams at Diamond Kutz Barbershop and told media he will remember Mr. Williams as a “lovable” and “caring” father and friend.
The Booker T. Washington apartment shooting is the twentieth homicide to plague Columbus this year and a Neighborhood Scout crime analysis ranks the area a 4 out of 100 (100 being the safest). The crime in the area is apparently bad enough that residents of the B.T.W. community told media they are too afraid to speak out on the shooting for fear of retaliation.
However, friends and and family members are still hoping for justice and answers in the death of this young father.
“You not only tried to take something from a friend or brother of mine, you just also took his life from his kids,” said Mr. Powell.
Our Legal Take
As police continue their search for a suspect and motive, The Murray Law Firm is questioning whether another party may also hold responsibility in this tragedy: Booker T. Washington Apartments.
Following prior neighborhood crime, what additional security precautions were implemented by the owner and management of Booker T. Washington Apartments to protect residents and deter violence?
Was the gunman a resident of Booker T. Washington Apartments and, if not, how did he obtain access to the property? What access controls, such as a security fence, gated entry, security patrol, and surveillance cameras, were in place and working at the time of the shooting? How did these security measures fail?
Given the history of crime in the surrounding area, the family of La Costa Williams may be entitled to pursue civil action against the owner and management of the Booker T. Washington Apartments.
Under Georgia law, an apartment owner has a duty to protect residents from any foreseeable harm. For example, should an apartment owner have reason to anticipate criminal activity on their property through knowledge of prior crime on or near their property, the owner and management must take extraordinary precautions to protect residents and prevent future crime. Should the owner and management fail in this responsibility, they may be held liable for all injuries and deaths that occur as a consequence.
Claims of this magnitude, potentially in the millions of dollars, will demand the Booker T. Washington apartment complex finally implement proper security measures and send a gravely needed message to all Columbus property owners and law enforcement on the need to improve security measures and increase law enforcement in this neighborhood. Perhaps, through these claims, many other families may be spared such a tragedy.
The Murray Law Firm works tirelessly to protect victims of apartment violence and property negligence and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 706.494.2800. Consultations are free and confidential.