Denecia Steward: Victim of Fatal Shooting at Lantana Motel
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Four Children of Murder Victim Denecia Steward Could Bring Civil Case

A fatal shooting occurred early Sunday morning, July 26, at the Super 8 Motel on Hypoluxo Road in the small Palm Beach County town of Lantana. The victim this time is Denecia Stephanie Seward, and this is not the first time a violent crime occurred on the premises; quite the contrary, in fact.

Authorities say the incident was reported just before 7:30 AM. First responders found a woman with multiple gunshot wounds, who was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. Police believe she died before 5 AM. They are continuing to investigate, but say they have no suspects at this time.

The patrons of this problematic hotel are well known to police for trafficking in drugs, sex, and other violent crimes. It’s frequently cited as one of the most violence-ridden hotels in Palm Beach County, for its lax security measures and inadequate safety. Our law firm is currently representing a victim who was was hurt at this Super 8 Motel.

This law firm represents several victims in similar cases against this very motel for extreme security negligence. Civil cases against the motel can be brought by the surviving children or family of a victim, even if the criminal case is not solved.

Police crime logs show that for a 10-year stretch between 2005 and 2015, more than 5,000 calls were made to Lantana Police for incidents at the motel – an average of a call a day. The calls didn’t stop after that, either. There’s been over 1,000 calls since New Years’ Day 2018, for everything from overdoses, mental health calls, shootings and battery.

This most recent shooting victim, Ms. Seward has now been identified, and friends and coworkers at the scene spoke to local media. They say she was the mother of small children, and will be missed. One coworker asked for the public’s help in finding the shooter.

“She was my buddy. I loved her. She was the life of the party. She did not deserve this,” said Jennifer Conde, a coworker and friend of the victim. “If you have any information or know the person who did it, or if someone told you something about the person who did it, call the cops, call the news, whatever you can do, just help us, she didn’t deserve that at all.”

The Lantana Police Department’s tipline is 800-458-TIPS (8477). Anyone with information on the crime is encouraged to call.

Negligent security law requires that owners of property like hotels and motels maintain safe premises, and that includes appropriate security standards. Having good video surveillance of parking lots and appropriate locking measures on room doors are usually helpful security measures.