The family of an Illinois man killed by a security guard at a truck stop has filed a wrongful death suit. They are seeking damages from Love's Travel Stop in Dayton, Ohio, as well as the security company for which the guard worked. The 48-year-old man was shot last December, reportedly in the chest and arm.
The victim's family said that the 25-year-old security guard should not have been armed because his application to carry a gun on the job had not been approved at the time of the shooting. That information came to light thanks to a news investigation by a local Dayton television station.
While the victim's family says that the man was not a threat to the security guard, whom they claim used excessive force, the guard says that he was acting in self-defense. Another local television station, WHIO, reported that witnesses tell another story of what happened at the truck stop, which had been open less than a week. They reportedly told police that the victim, who was a truck driver from Naperville, was asked to leave the business because he was behaving strangely. They say he came back in shortly thereafter and moved towards the guard, who shot him. The victim died later at the hospital.
No criminal charges have been filed in the case. Police say the case is still under investigation. However, that has not deterred the family from moving forward with their wrongful death suit. They are asking for $25,000 in damages.
Families have a right to seek civil damages when a loved one is killed, regardless of whether someone is charged with a crime or not. Personal injury attorneys can advise people whether it is best to wait until a police investigation is complete or to move forward with a civil suit.
Source: WDTN-TV Channel 2, "Family of Love’s Travel Stop shooting victim files lawsuit" Natalie Tendall, Feb. 14, 2014