The parents of a man killed while shopping at Underground Atlanta have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against mall management and the City of Atlanta.
Mychal M. Fair, 22, was shot and killed on Aug. 12 as he was looking for clothes for a new job, authorities said.
Police arrested Brandon Barnes on murder, aggravated assault and gun possession charges, saying he admitted to the shooting in a phone call made from Atlanta police headquarters shortly after his arrest.
Authorities said Barnes followed Fair and his friends, then opened fire as they tried to leave the downtown shopping center following several skirmishes with a group of unknown assailants.
In a civil complaint filed Dec. 3 in Fulton County State Court, Fair’s parents said mall and city officials failed to provide adequate security and policing that might have prevented the incident.
“In the calendar year surrounding the incident … there were in excess of 6,000 crimes reported to the City of Atlanta Police Department for the premises located at 65 Alabama Street … and the surrounding area,” Michael C. Fair and Elizabeth A. Flynn said in the lawsuit.
“Notwithstanding its knowledge of the danger of criminal activity in the vicinity, defendants failed to provide adequate security on the premises in order to keep invitees safe.”
Along with the city, the lawsuit names CV Underground LLC, Underground Management LLC, O’Leary Partners Inc., Aderhold/O’Leary LLC and as many as 10 unnamed employees as defendants.
City officials had no comment on the lawsuit, saying they hadn’t been served the civil complain. And mall officials were not available early Tuesday evening for comment.
Among the complaints, Fair’s parents claim the mall didn’t have enough competently trained security guards, well-positioned security cameras, security policies or police on patrol.
They are requesting funeral and legal expenses as well as undisclosed special expenses and punitive damages.