Losing a loved one in a horrific manner is never easy, but it seems to always feel worse when a child is involved. Last month, Kera Teel was killed at Sienna Apartments after being gunned down June 6. She was seven months pregnant at the time, and though her baby “was delivered after the shooting,” it did not survive. As a result of the tragedy, Teel’s family “has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the apartment complex, citing its faulty security systems and unwillingness to repair them until after Teel’s death.”
Filed earlier this week by Kera’s husband, Andrew Teel, the lawsuit accuses the apartment’s managers “of failing to repair collapsed security fences and recurrently dysfunctional security gates.” The lawsuit also states:
“The Defendants failed to replace defective security lights in the parking lot and common areas. As a result, Sienna Apartment Homes naturally attracted criminals. According to Beaumont Police Department dispatch records, the police responded to at least 58 calls to the Sienna Apartment Homes that resulted in 11 police reports in the mere six months prior to June 6th. During that time, tenant complaints were made to management with no substantive response, answer, or action.”
At the time of the fatal shooting, the lawsuit claims “there were no security cameras on at the apartments, despite roughly 200 units at an average monthly rate of $1,000.” Within mere days of Kera’s death, however, the apartment complex “fixed security gates that had been broken; fences that had been in disrepair; and security lights around the complex, which had been out of service.” So it took a tragedy for the complex to finally do something to improve its security measures.
So far the lawsuit is seeking “more than $1 million,” and the family is taking solace in knowing that two people “have been arrested in connection to the shooting.” According to police reports, “Jared Javon Bias, 22, and 17-year-old Atayanna Douglas, played a role in the death on Beaumont’s North End.” When questioned, Douglas indicated that “she was present when Bias pulled the trigger, according to a probable cause affidavit supporting Bias’ arrest last month.”
Shortly after the shooting, the apartment complex expressed condolences to the Teel family in a statement, saying it would work “fully with local law enforcement officials to assist in any way we can.” However, the complex has yet to issue a statement regarding the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Kera’s family.