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Federal jury awards $158M to family of man shot, killed on Amtrak train in Lee's Summit in 2022

Amtrak Acela
Posted at 9:50 AM, Feb 01, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal jury Wednesday awarded the family of Richie Aaron, who was shot and killed on an Amtrak train in Lee's Summit in 2022, $158 million in damages after finding both Amtrak and Aaron's convicted killer liable.

Marquis Webb shot Aaron around 9 p.m. on Jan. 14, 2022, while he was on an Amtrak train at the Lee's Summit train station, but the train did not stop until it reached Independence, where Aaron was pronounced dead.

Court documents said passengers notified train personnel of multiple gunshots and the extent of Aaron's injuries, but the train continued its journey to Independence, which is at least a 16-minute ride from the Lee's Summit stop.

Webb, who did not know Aaron, fled on foot from the Lee's Summit station after the shooting and hijacked a nearby car at gunpoint. A few weeks later, on Jan. 31, 2022, he was arrested after an hours-long standoff with police during which he pointed a gun at KCPD officers.

He was originally charged on Feb. 1, 2022, with second-degree murder, three counts of armed criminal action, vehicle hijacking and unlawful use of a weapon.

Aaron's wife, Breayonna Aaron, sued Amtrak for wrongful death in 2022 on behalf of Richie Aaron and their three children.

The lawsuit alleged negligence — including the failure to respond in a timely manner, provide sufficient emergency aid, adequately hire and/or train employees on life-threatening emergencies, and implement reasonable security measures.

Webb, who later pleaded guilty to the murder of Aaron in September 2023 , also was listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.

The jury found Amtrak responsible for 90% of the damages, or more than $142 million, and Webb responsible for 10%.