Security Newswire

Mall Sued for Lax Security After Mass Shooting

February 7, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

A federal trial court held that a mall premises owner might be liable for failing to prevent the shooting of a store manager who was shot several times by an assailant. The mall owner failed to implement security measures that might have prevented the shooter from continuing his rampage against individuals located inside the mall.

On Nov. 20, 2005, Dominick Maldonado walked into a mall wearing a trench coat under which he was concealing a rifle and a pistol. Maldonado also carried a guitar case containing ammunition. Prior to entering the mall, Maldonado made a phone call to 911 informing the operator that he was carrying two weapons and that he was going to begin shooting.

After entering the mall, Maldonado stopped by a soda machine to load his rifle, passed by a mall kiosk several times and then began shooting. In approximately eight minutes, Maldonado shot seven people. Maldonado took four people hostage for several hours before he was eventually taken into police custody.

The last person Maldonado shot was Brendan McKown, an assistant manager at a store in the mall. When the shooting began, McKown was taking store deposits to a bank deposit box located at the opposite end of the mall from his store when he heard sounds that he recognized as gunshots. After several minutes of not hearing any additional gunshots, McKown stood near the entrance to a camera store when Maldonado walked by and shot him several times.

McKown filed a lawsuit against the mall premises owner alleging the owner failed to provide sufficient security measures which could have better protected the individuals faced with an emergency situation such as the shooting. The mall owner filed a motion for summary judgment arguing the shooting was not foreseeable and McKown's injuries were not preventable under the circumstances.

McKown argued that the mall owner should be held liable for failing to take even the most basic, reasonable steps to protect him and others from danger. McKown presented evidence that the mall had only three unarmed security officers on the premises the day of the shooting; that the mall failed to properly track and assess past crimes; that the mall failed to have an audible announcement system; and that the mall failed to coordinate with police to prevent attacks and failed to hire off-duty, armed police officers to provide security.

The mall owner argued that Maldonado's actions in shooting at strangers in the mall were not reasonably foreseeable as a matter of law and, therefore, the mall owner had no duty to prevent Maldonado from shooting McKown.

The district court concluded that based on the evidence, a reasonable jury could find that McKown's injuries were the result of reasonably foreseeable criminal conduct and that a reasonable jury could find that the mall owner's failure to implement certain security measures was the cause in fact of McKown's injuries. Accordingly, the court denied the mall owner's motion for summary judgment.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Security Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

ASIS 2013 Product Preview

ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois, will include an exhibit hall packed with innovative security solutions. Here are some of the products that will be shown at ASIS this year.


Virtualization and Data Center Security: What You Need to Know for 2014

Data centers are increasingly becoming the center of the enterprise, and data center and cyber security is following the same path for security departments. According to Justin Flynn, a consultant at the Burwood Group, the virtualization of data centers allows enterprises to scale more easily and faster, with a smaller footprint.

However, hosting enterprise data in the cloud can make intrusion detection more difficult – how can enterprise security leaders team up with other departments to keep aware of cyber risks and traffic, and physical and data compliance during the virtual transition? How can CISOs and CSOs discuss cyber threats with the C-Suite to get the resources they need? And how can the proper infrastructure test and verify possible malicious attacks? 

More Podcasts

Security Magazine

security 2015 january cover

2015 January

In the January 2015 issue of Security, learn how PTZ and fixed dome cameras do dual duty in video production and surveillance applications, improve security on college campuses, and how to better cope with harsh environments in surveillance. 

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Tougher Cybersecurity Legislation

On January 20, President Barack Obama called for tougher cybersecurity legislation in his 2015 State of the Union address. Which of the following points do you feel is most needed today?
View Results Poll Archive


CompTIA Security+ Certification Study Guide
CompTIA's Security+ certification is a globally-recognized, vendor neutral exam that has helped over 60,000 IT professionals reach further and higher in their careers. The current Security+ exam (SY0-201) focuses more on being able to deal with security issues rather than just identifying them.
More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13Google+

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.