LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – On March 15, 2019, two men entered the Big Red gas station that is across the way from Dickey-Stephens Park with the intent to rob it.
Senior Airmen Shawn McKeough was killed when he tried to stop the two men.
On Thursday his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Summerwood Properties, LLC, the owner of that gas station. They alleged that the clerk did not handle the situation according to robbery prevention guidelines.
In newly released surveillance video you can see the clerk scrambling to open the register.
“We certainly don’t know at this time exactly what he was trying to do we just know he was not complying with the demands being made by the gunmen,” family attorney Hal Cook said.
Cook sourced a study done by Arizona State University that says roughly 10% of all robberies in the country occur at convenience stores.
He said the owners should be aware of the inherent risk posed to convenience stores and should have made sure that proper training and education of their employees was done to ensure the safety of all customers and staff.
“I don’t know we can put anything on Shawn simply because the facts are that had the clerk complied with the request he wouldn’t have been in the position to protect the life of his two friends and the other customers,” Cook explained.
Cook also said that McKeough’s actions prevented the situation from possibly being more deadly than it was.
He said he saved the lives of at least six other people that night.
McKeough’s family joined the press conference via Zoom and only read a prepared statement. They thanked the many parties involved and those who served alongside him in his short stint being stationed at the Little Rock Air Force Base.
The family hopes their lawsuit will ensure that proper protocols are in place so another situation like this doesn’t happen again.
“We hope the actions that we have taken today in filing this lawsuit will prevent another family from experiencing similar grief and heartbreak at the loss of a loved one,” Shawn McKeough, Sr. said.
Cook said a jury would determine any potential punitive damages awarded.
The first court date has not yet been set.