KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The family of Richie Terrell Aaron, who was shot and killed on an Amtrak train in Lee's Summit in January, spoke out publicly for the first time since his death on Friday.
Aaron, 30, was on his way home from Bloomington, Illinois, when he allegedly was shot and killed by Marquise L. Webb.
Webb, 21, was charged with Richie Aaron's death on Feb. 1 and is facing five charges related to his death.
Aaron's family has since filed a lawsuit against Amtrak, which also names Webb, accusing the company of not doing enough to prevent the death of Aaron.
Nuru Witherspoon, an attorney representing Aaron's family in the lawsuit, believes Amtrak employees did not follow policy when it came to saving Aaron's life.
Witherspoon said no Amtrak employee responded to the sound of gunshots or the cries for help from passengers on the train.
After Aaron was shot, Witherspoon said the train did not remain at the Lee's Summit station to wait for emergency medical assistance.
Instead, the train continued on to the Independence station where, according to Witherspoon, a witness said Aaron laid on the ground for 35 minutes.
“Where were the Amtrak conductor and police while Richie Aaron was dying on their commuter train?" Witherspoon said. "No one stopped the train. How could Amtrak’s security and engineers let 35 minutes pass before stopping the train after Richie Aaron was shot? Was the priority getting to the next stop on time or saving the life of a passenger? The negligent acts of Amtrak and its employees mean that Richie Aaron’s three children grow up without their father, and his wife is now a widow."
Breayonna Aaron, Richie's wife, says the couple was set to celebrate their anniversary on Feb. 14, exactly a month after Richie died.
“Richie was a hard-working man and a kind and loving husband and father," Breayonna Aaron said. "We would have celebrated our wedding anniversary on February 14, and our oldest son just turned 12 years old on March 11. Because Amtrak didn’t care about safety, I had to tell my children that their dad is never coming home. He took care of us. Now, our family has to figure out how to go on without my husband.”
The family is seeking a minimum of $100 million in the lawsuit.
KSHB 41 News reached out to Amtrak for comment and received the following response:
We are reviewing the filing and will respond to the court.