KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Mall security guards were nowhere to be found during the Independence Center shooting, according to a lawsuit filed by the victims. One was even allegedly found hiding in a clothing rack at Dillard's until police arrived.
The lawsuit, filed by Dilon Yates and Rochelle Moore, names Independence Center, Simon Inc. (the corporate owner of the mall), and Mydatt Inc. who operates as Valor Security. Valor provides the security force for Independence Center. Mall officials declined to comment on whether the guards were armed.
Yates was shot twice in the leg and Moore once in the foot after an altercation with Eric Bratton at Independence Center on January 14, 2012. Bratton was convicted of two counts each of second-degree assault and armed criminal action on Wednesday. He faces up to 21 years in prison.
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Dan Baylard, who is representing Yates and Moore, wouldn't comment on the lawsuit. Both are asking for punitive damages, claiming mall ownership and Valor failed to protect them by not having an adequate or properly trained security force.
The suit states after Bratton fired the first of three gunshots, "an employee of Auntie Anne's called to security after the first shot was fired, but there was no answer. The same employee did not see a security officer in the area until about ten minutes after the shooting occurred."
The suit also states "at least one security guard was found hiding in a clothing rack in Dillard's after the shooting."
READ the lawsuit | http://bit.ly/VO2u2Z
Yates and Moore claim Independence police officers told them there were no security officers available at the time because they were handling a group of young shoplifters.
Yates and Moore are suing for more than $25,000.