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Man paralyzed in shooting sues ‘O Block’ apartments management

A mother walks with a young child into the Parkway Gardens apartment complex in the 6400 block of Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. | Sun-Times file photo

A man who was paralyzed from the neck down when he was shot on “O Block” in 2014 has filed a lawsuit against the Parkway Gardens apartment complex’s management company.

Terrell Riley alleges the company’s negligence allowed a gang war between the Gangster Disciples and Black Disciples to fester, leaving innocent bystanders hurt in shootings.

“The members of these two rival gangs criminally assault not only rival gang members but also law-abiding members of the community as part of a routine practice of retaliatory shootings and armed assaults,” the suit stated.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court against the Parkway Gardens Preservation Group LLC, which owns and manages apartments from the 6300 to 6500 block of South King Drive.

Riley was shot in the back of the neck on April 14, 2014, as he was walking to his Parkway Gardens home from a grocery store, the suit stated.

Riley alleges the man who shot him was a member of the Gangster Disciples. The same man, though never charged in Riley’s shooting, was charged with attempted murder in June 2014 in connection with another shooting on O Block, according to Chicago Police. That man is currently in the Cook County Jail.

“This suit seeks to impose tort liability on Defendants, the owners and managers of Parkway Gardens and the security firm retained by them for the protection of the residents of the apartment complex, for, among other things, their negligence in failing to guard against a foreseeable criminal act by a third party,” the suit states.

Riley alleges that in the three years before his shooting, the management company removed an 8-foot tall fence that had enclosed the apartment complex. Additionally, the suit stated, the company decreased the number of security guards and stopped screening people who came into the complex.

A Chicago Sun-Times analysis in November 2014 found that O Block — the 6400 block of South King Drive, which derives its nickname from the 2011 murder of 20-year-old Odee Perry — saw 19 shootings between June 2011 and June 2014, more than any other block in the city.

A representative from Parkway Gardens could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

The three-count suit also names the private security company hired by Parkway Gardens, along with several real estate companies, as defendants. The suit alleges negligence and seeks more than $150,000 in damages.