WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The mother of a victim of gun violence is blaming the City of Wilmington for her son’s death.
Patricia Proutey filed a lawsuit against Wilmington saying it is negligent for not providing enough light in the parking lot of the Community Arts Center, which contributed to her son’s murder.
Joshua Proutey, 19, was shot and killed in the parking lot Dec. 13, 2012, when he was robbed leaving work.
The lawsuit states Wilmington bought the lot in March 2009 for $750,000, but by the end of the fiscal year in 2012, the city spent a total of $751,365, despite $35,000 allotted for upgrades and parking equipment. That left $33,635 the city did not use for improvements.
According to the suit, from 2007 until Proutey’s 2012 death, there were about 50 criminal acts reported in or around the parking lot.
The lawsuit filed Feb. 3 seeks at least $25,000.
In it, Patricia Proutey accuses the city of:
•Failing to install and erect adequate lighting in the parking lot;
•Knowing or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known of the unsafe condition of the parking lot;
•Failing to exercise reasonable care in protecting Joshua Proutey from any unsafe conditions in the parking lot;
•Failing to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance, operation and management of the parking lot;
•Failing to provide adequate precautions against criminal activity in the parking lot;
•Failing to make reasonable inspections to discover dangerous conditions and, thereafter, make them safe;
•Failing to exercise reasonable care to protect Joshua Proutey against injury from criminal attack;
•Failing to use reasonable care to deter criminal activity on its premises;
•Failing to implement security measures to make the parking lot reasonably safe for use by the public;
Patricia Proutey’s negligence compliant is not the first one the city has heard.
The lawsuit says there have been numerous complaints by employees of the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center and public officials affiliated with the facility.
Investigators believe the killer shot about two to five inches away from Proutey’s head. Detectives say the four people who robbed Proutey made off with $10, a cell phone and a sandwich.