Woman injured in shooting sues Oakbrook Center mall

Lawsuit alleges mall had inadequate security

Police car

A bystander injured in a shooting two years ago at Oakbrook Center is suing the mall, saying it should have had better security to protect shoppers.

Alexis Martinez, who was shot four times, alleges mall officials and the mall’s owner were negligent because they knew about criminal activity at the Oak Brook mall but did not supply adequate security to keep shoppers safe.

She and several other bystanders were struck by gunfire when two men – accused shooters Tyran Williams and Steve Lane – allegedly got into a dispute and tried to shoot each other. Martinez is suing the men, too.

But the bulk of the complaint is directed at Oakbrook Shopping Center LLC, Brookfield Properties Retail Holdings LLC and Andy Frain Services.

The lawsuit was filed Dec. 22.

A spokesman for Brookfield and Oakbrook said the company will not comment on the lawsuit. Andy Frain Services did not respond to requests for comment.

When shots rang out on the Nordstrom’s wing of the mall about 5:44 p.m. Dec. 23, 2021, shoppers took cover in stores.

Authorities said Williams, Lane and a third man got in an argument while standing in line at a pretzel shop. The argument was about disrespectful comments made on social media, authorities said.

Martinez and two other women were shot. A man was grazed by a bullet. Another woman broke her ankle while trying to escape.

Williams was shot four times.

The mall was locked down for six hours as police searched the mall, store by store, for one of the suspects.

Mall should have known?

Martinez’s lawsuit lists 16 reports of crime at the mall from March 2018 to early December 2021, including an armed robbery, a carjacking, a pepper-spray incident that resulted in the evacuation of a movie theater and a sexual assault.

Brookfield and Oakbrook Shopping Center LLC had a duty to reduce or eliminate danger from “foreseeable acts by third parties,” the lawsuit alleges.

It claims the mall had inadequate security and surveillance, permitted or ignored criminal activity, failed to hire competent security workers, did not implement and follow security recommendations requested by the mall’s on-site managers, failed to budget or allocate resources for security, did not have adequate patrols and failed to follow the instructions or recommendations of law enforcement officials.

Besides its own workers, the mall also hired Andy Frain Services to provide security. Andy Frain Services failed to properly hire, train, manage, retain or supervise its workers, the lawsuit alleges. Andy Frain Services also improperly maintained, operated, managed and failed to control the shopping center, according to the lawsuit.

“There has been a history [of crimes],” said Brian Coffman, Martinez’s attorney. “They were put on notice. They had a duty to make it safe.”

Better security might have been able to thwart the crime, he said.

Criminal case update

Lane was charged with aggravated battery-discharge of a weapon, aggravated discharge of a weapon at a person and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Lane has been held on $1 million bail in the DuPage County jail since his arrest.

Williams was charged with aggravated battery-discharge of a weapon, aggravated discharge of a weapon at a person and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. He is free on $100,000 bond.

Both are due back in court Jan. 30.