Family of Anthony Thurston, Jr., may have Negligent Security Claim after teen's Death Family of Anthony Thurston, Jr., may have Negligent Security Claim after teen's Death
CHOOSE THE 2s!™ (561) 222-2222
Client Portal Click Here

Family of Anthony Thurston, Jr., may have Negligent Security Claim after teen’s Death

Wawa, shooting, murder, Anthony Thurston, Kamarai Williams, negligent security, wrongful death, Riviera Beach, breach of duty

Thurston Family may have Wrongful Death Claim Case due to Negligent Security after 15-year-old slain at Wawa

The family of Anthony Thurston, Jr., who was killed in a tragic shooting at the Wawa convenience store in Riviera Beach on Wednesday, June 26, may have a case for a wrongful death claim against the property owners, now that a suspect has been arrested and charged with a number of crimes.

One killed, one wounded in shooting at Wawa on Garden Road and West Blue Heron Boulevard

Shortly before 10:00pm, Riviera Beach police officers responded to a reported shooting at the Wawa store located at 7289 Garden Road, according to a police spokesperson. Upon arrival, they found one person dead, and another in critical condition.

17-year-old arrested; faces multiple charges

 On Saturday, June 29, 17-year-old Kamari Williams was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder, and being a delinquent in possession of a firearm, following the death of 15-year-old Anthony Thurston, Jr., of Palm Beach Gardens. The accused shooter is being held in the Palm Beach County Juvenile Assessment Center. The other shooting victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

Family holds candlelight vigil for teen who was “rock of the family”

According to his mother, Shaakiara Smith, Anthony Thurston, Jr., known as “AJ,” was the second oldest of her seven children, and the “rock of the family.” According to Smith, she said the last time she saw AJ that Wednesday night was when he asked her for money to go buy a sub at the local Wawa.

According to reports, AJ’s 17-year-old brother Trevor was with him at the store when the suspect looked at the two brothers inside the store, said “What’s up?” and then opened fire. Smith said her sons did not know the shooter.

Wawa, other stores, havens for street crimes

In the fall of 2023, the Riviera Beach Police Department launched an initiative to crack down on dangerous and unsafe on-corner and convenience stores. Officials say the spots are often meetup points for drug deals and other crimes.

“Some of the stuff they sell within the store’s harbors crime. Some of the things they have like illegal gambling machines, harbors crime,” said Riviera Beach PD Major Travis Walker. Police claimed the crackdown was successful, as the number of 911 calls had decreased at the majority of the stores they monitored. Officials said that not responding to call for fights and loitering complaints allowed them to be able to respond to real emergencies. “We were finding (is) that officers were responding at alarming rates at these stores,” said Walker. “It’s not one officer. It’s two officers because one can’t go by themselves…for stuff that we can fix.”

Violence long a concern for local residents

 Although police have allocated resources to make stores safer, many residents are not sure that the efforts have been successful. “You hear gunshots all the time,” said frequent Wawa customer Alen Grant when asked about the situation by a local television station. “The most frustrating part of it is innocent people coming to the store and getting killed. It’s insane.” The Wawa store, which operates 24 hours/day, has become a focal point of safety concerns for both customers and staff alike.

Did Negligent Security play a role in this Shooting?

We won’t know until the investigation is complete, but in Florida, one thing is for sure: laws require property owners to take reasonable steps to protect guests/customers from foreseeable dangers. For example, if a property owner knows that there is a high crime rate in the area, they may be required to install security cameras or hire security guards. If a crime does occur on the property, the victim and/or victim’s family may be able to sue the property owner for negligent security.

Duty of Care is Paramount

A property owner or occupier has a duty to take reasonable measures, and not breach their duty, to ensure the safety of those legally permitted to be on their premises. This duty is typically highest for invitees, which includes people like customers or patients, but also extends to licensees, such as delivery people or repairmen, and in some cases, even trespassers.

 What is “Breach of Duty?”

A breach of duty occurs when the property owner fails to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of those on their premises and someone is injured. For example, if there is known criminal activity in the area and the property owner does not take steps to address it, this could be considered a breach of duty if someone is subsequently attacked on the property. This may be the case for Anthony Thurston, Jr’s. family.

Injured due to someone else’s Negligence? GOLDLAW has the Experience you need!

If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury caused by the negligent actions of a property owner, we encourage you to reach out to a GOLDLAW attorney as soon as possible.  At GOLDLAW, we have a deep understanding of Florida personal injury law, and we know what it takes to secure compensation for a premises liability and negligent security claim. For your COMPLIMENTARY case evaluation, “Choose the 2’s,” and call 561-222-2222, or click here to submit your case evaluation form.