Family of shooting victim sues security company

Wednesday, July 14, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:47 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 4, 2008

On July 1, 2003, Jonathon Russell went to work at Modine Manufacturing Co. in Jefferson City, clocked in for his late night shift and drew a semi-automatic .40-caliber Glock. He shot eight co-workers — killing three and wounding five.

Russell then drove his pickup downtown to the police station and was standing in front of the station when he fired at police officers. Russell was wounded when officer Patrick McCutchen shot him with a 12-gauge shotgun, according to Lt. Robert Bucklew of the Jefferson City Police Department. Russell subsequently shot himself near the station’s front entrance.

Now some of the victim’s families in the Modine incident are seeking restitution.

According to court documents, plaintiffs Brandy Jackson and Michael Wilson, the children of Terry Wilson, are suing Burns Security, now called Securitas, for negligence in failing to provide proper security, which resulted in the wrongful death of their father. The trial is set for Oct. 17, 2005.

The lawsuit also included Modine Manufacturing, but its involvement in the case ended when the courts ruled that Modine made “no affirmative act” to cause the shooting.

The case was originally filed in the circuit court of Cole County, but was moved to federal court in the Western District of Missouri. The case was moved to federal court because the plaintiffs were seeking damages in excess of $75,000 and because Securitas is incorporated in Delaware and the incident occurred in Missouri.

According to Reuters, workers’ compensation has been awarded to those wounded and the families of those who died, with the exception of the Russell family, which was denied workers’ compensation.

Of those wounded, Kevin Rash, who was shot in the back and suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs, also intends to sue. He has yet to file.

“It’ll probably be filed the week of the 19th (July),” said Rash’s attorney Richard Miller. “We’re just looking at the issue of whether Securitas properly secured the premises and had the appropriate personnel to do so.”

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