BEAUMONT, Texas -- The husband of Kera Teel has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the apartment complex where she and her newborn baby were shot and killed last month.
The lawsuit, which was filed today by attorney Jefferson W. Fisher, of Orgain Bell & Tucker, alleges that the Sienna Apartment Homes and its management company failed to maintain adequate security measures according to a release from the law firm.
The suit accuses the complex of "premises liability and gross negligence" in the deaths and alleges that the complex and its management company hold some liability in the deaths.
The suit was filed on behalf of Teel's husband Andrew Teel, their daughter Alaya, 2, and on behalf of Kera Teel and her newborn daughter, Kyndal Jae Teel, who were both shot and killed on June 6, 2017 according to the release.
Andrew Teel was at the couple's apartment when the shooting happened and ran to the scene in time for his 19-year-old wife to die in his arms the release said.
The couple's newborn daughter, Kyndal Jae, died shortly after being delivered at the hospital following the shooting.
Beaumont Police officers were called out to the complex on numerous calls for criminal activity at the complex in the months before the murders according to the lawsuit.
The suit also says that tenants had made multiple unresolved complaints to the complex about security issues at the complex.
Only in the days following the death of Teel and her newborn daughter did the complex repair a collapsed fence, fix broken security gates, and repair security lights that had been out complex-wide according to the lawsuit.
A crew fixing a broken security gate within 12 hours of the shooting told a 12News crew that they had been previously scheduled to fix the gate and claimed the timing of the repair was a coincidence.
The suit refers to "unsafe, unsecure, and defective conditions" of the complex and notes the lack of security cameras or guards at the complex.
"Those who hold themselves out to offer security and have the means to provide that security must be held accountable to take up their responsibility," said Fisher.
The suit names Sienna Apartment Homes' owners, ST Partners III, Ltd. and MGroup Holdings, Inc., and property manager, Capstone Real Estate Services, Inc. as defendants the release said.
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