Chicago Jury Awards Nearly 5 Million Dollars in Man’s Fatal Shooting by Security Guard

Law Firm Newswire



Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) October 14, 2019 – The mother of a man who was killed after being shot by a security guard at a Chicago public housing complex received a $4.8 million jury award in her lawsuit against a security company.

A Cook County jury ruled that a security guard employed by Kates Detective & Security Services Agency was responsible for the shooting death of 24-year-old Eric Knox. The incident occurred in June 2016 at the former ABLA-Robert Brooks Homes, a Chicago Housing Authority complex.


Court documents identified Ulisa Howell-Darby as Knox’s mother and independent administrator of his estate. She sued Kates Detective & Security for her son’s death in 2017 as the company had stationed security guards at the housing complex where the shooting occurred. The exact amount Howell-Darby will receive is $3.6 million. The total damages were reduced from the original $4.8 million because the jury found Knox to be partially at fault in the incident.

“The negligence of the security guards led to the death of an innocent man,” commented Paul Greenberg, a personal injury attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, who is not involved with the case. “Illinois law requires property owners to implement reasonable security measures to provide protection from security risks and potential crime on their premises. If an individual becomes the victim of a crime on their property, they could be held liable for damages in a premises liability lawsuit for negligent security.”

Knox was fatally shot after a verbal altercation occurred between security guards and a group of people at the housing complex. Knox was attending a party at around 3:40 a.m. when four Kates security guards arrived, and a shooting broke out. He was shot twice in the back, and two security guards were injured after being struck by gunfire.

Friends drove Knox to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The two guards were transported to Stroger Hospital, where their conditions were stabilized.

The lawsuit said Maurice Hampton had fired the shots at Knox. Hampton, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was shot multiple times. According to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, he still has firearm and security guard licenses.

In October 2013, Hampton was found guilty of disorderly conduct. The charge was lowered to a single misdemeanor after he was originally charged with felony aggravated battery to a peace officer and four misdemeanor charges.

Kates’ defense attorneys argued that the security guards fired shots in self-defense after Knox started an altercation. However, witnesses said that although Knox had a firearm, he never used it. He was accompanied by two other men who carried out the shooting. The security guards provided descriptions of the shooter to their employer and investigators but none of them matched Knox.

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