A Keiser University student athlete was killed in his West Palm Beach apartment over the weekend of December 19-20, and police are investigating his death as a homicide.
Authorities say Derek R. Becker, 21, was found inside his Azalea Place apartment on the 4200 block of Community Drive shortly before 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Sadly he was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after first responders arrived. Police say the cause of death appears to be gunfire, and they are continuing to investigate the case as a homicide.
Becker’s apartment is just north of the Keiser campus where he attended school and played as an infielder for the Seahawks baseball team. A native of Cohoes, New York, Becker is remembered by Keiser baseball coach Brook Fordyce as both a hard-working athlete and also “an exceptional friend and associate to those whose lives he touched.” The school has made counselors available to those grieving his death, and will honor him during the spring baseball season.
Unfortunately, Becker’s death marks the twelfth homicide in West Palm Beach this year, and one of almost 80 homicides in Palm Beach County for the year. Poor security at apartment complexes can increase the risk of residents becoming victims of violent crime, and when a pattern of violence occurs at a particular location, a personal injury case for negligent security possibly could be made.
Some examples include poor lighting, lack of security guards on the premises, lack of gates around the complex or poorly maintained gates, difficulties with door locks, lack of video surveillance/frequently malfunctioning cameras, and other issues that may impact safety.