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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Multiple Victims in Columbia Apartment Shooting

Multiple Victims in Columbia Apartment Shooting


Five people, including three teenagers, were seriously injured in a mass shooting incident at a South Carolina apartment complex that caters to university students.

When officers responded to a call of a shooting at the Greene Crossing Apartments, they discovered five victims in an apartment building: the 20-year-old woman, a 22-year-old man, a 19-year-old man and two 16-year-old boys. The 20-year-old woman didn’t survive her injuries.

University of South Carolina police said none of the victims are affiliated with the university.

Duty of Care

Individuals are criminally responsible for assaults and the other violent crimes they commit. Landlords and other property owners are often financially responsible for such incidents. They have a duty of care to provide secure environments, as follows:

  • Invitee: If the owner gave the victim permission to be on the land, and the victim’s presence benefited the owner, the owner had a duty of reasonable care. This legal obligation requires them to proactively address negligent security and other possible injury hazards. Apartment tenants are invitees.
  • Non-Invitee: If the owner gave the victim at least tacit permission to be on the premises, but the victim didn’t benefit the owner (licensee), a lesser duty of care. Apartment tenant guests are usually licensees. Owners typically owe no duty of care to trespassers (no permission and no benefit).

This same analysis applies to swimming pool injuries, falls, and other premises liability personal injury claims.

Knowledge of Hazard

Additionally, in a negligent security-related injury claim, a Columbia personal injury lawyer must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the owner knew, or should have known, about the injury-causing hazard. Negligent security issues include:

  • Lax security policy,
  • Broken cameras,
  • Burned-out lights,
  • Broken gates, and
  • Inadequate security level (e.g. no live security when live security is reasonably necessary).

A combination of negligent security issues probably lead to the above incident. Many apartment complexes have very lax security policies. They let anyone come on the premises for any reason. Furthermore, many landlords don’t promptly respond to noise complaints and otherwise intervene before a situation becomes violent. They only respond after someone has been injured.

If an owner knows about a security lapse, the owner also knows that something like a multiple shooting could happen. Therefore, the owner could stop such incidents before they happen. Under the law, a property owner, or anyone else, cannot shirk that kind of responsibility.

In addition to factual knowledge, a Columbia personal injury attorney must prove foreseeability (possibility) of injury. Evidence on this point includes the area’s crime rate and prior similar incidents at that location.

Third Party Liability

USC police quickly said that no university employees were involved in the above incident. That declaration might or might not be accurate.

Assault is an intentional tort. Employers could be liable for such intentional torts under the negligent hiring or negligent supervision theory.

Basically, negligent hiring is knowingly hiring an incompetent worker to do a certain job. Special rules apply if the incompetence is a prior criminal record. Negligent supervision is usually a failure to properly watch employees or a failure to properly discipline them when they break the rules.

Either theory could apply in the above story. Universities often hire workers with checkered pasts and/or look the other way when they should be disciplined.

Work With a Tough-Minded Richland County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start fighting for you.


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Marc Brown

Marc Brown Law Firm

Meet Attorney Marc Brown

Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his smaller, more personalized practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

A Personable & Dedicated South Carolina Attorney

As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

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Choosing an attorney is a very important decision, but it can be difficult. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, we do everything we can to keep you informed, put your needs first, and to make sure justice is served. Here are just a few reasons to choose us:

The Right Experience

Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

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After being injured in a serious accident, you need to focus on getting better. Serious accidents can be hard on an individual, physically and emotionally. The Marc Brown Law Firm is dedicated to fight for you while you recover. If you are unable to travel to our office for any reason, we will personally visit you! Just give us a call to talk whenever you may be in need of assistance. We’re here to help.

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At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we choose to put our clients first. Our clients are more than just a case number. We think of each of our clients as extended members of the family. We make sure to inform our clients of all their legal options and provide timely updates throughout the life their case.

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We work hard so that our clients receive the justice they deserve! When necessary, Attorney Marc Brown retains investigators, engineers, and other experts to help prove your case. Insurance companies are big, but Marc is experienced and resourceful. We fight for each of our clients so that you can receive the maximum compensation available to you.

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We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront cost to clients. You only pay lawyer fees when we win your case. This also means that your attorney is only paid a percentage of what is recovered for you. The Marc Brown Law Firm has a vested interest in ensuring that each of our clients receive the maximum recovery available to them. We are determined to fight tirelessly to recover for you.

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