Jacksonville man, 28, found shot to death in 2017 at then-Camelot Gardens Apartments
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As part of a wrongful death settlement, the owner of a Westside apartment complex has agreed to pay $3.6 million to the family of a 28-year-old Jacksonville man killed in 2017 inside his unit at then-Camelot Gardens Apartments, according to the law firm that obtained the settlement.
The wrongful death claim alleged negligent security at the complex on Lane Avenue near Park Street in the Hyde Park area where DeAngelo Tillie was fatally shot around 3:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 2017, Duval County court records show.
Attorneys representing Tillie’s family, Pedro Echarte and Michael Haggard with the Haggard Law Firm, said the father of two had recently moved into the complex with his girlfriend when, according to police, two people opened to door and shot him multiple times in front of his then-10-year-old daughter, who was at the apartment to spend the holidays with him. He was found dead, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.
Two weeks before Tillie was killed, News4JAX was told, his mother moved into this same complex.
At the time of the deadly shooting, according to court records, the apartment complex was owned by Eagle Gardens of Jacksonville and managed by Lohman Property Management Company, both of which were controlled by the same person.
Court documents say the apartments had an extensive history of prior crime. Family lawyers contend the owners did nothing about it, and they believe it contributed to the still-unsolved murder of Tillie.
“This happened to be one of the most dangerous apartment complexes I’ve ever come across,” Echarte told News4JAX on Thursday.
According to the complaint filed in 2018, the complex failed to take security measures — such as having and maintaining an adequate number of surveillance cameras, having gates or guards, and properly patrolling the property — despite numerous violent incidents in the area dating back to 2008. The Tillie family’s attorneys also said that between the time Eagle Gardens of Jacksonville purchased the complex in November 2016 and Tillie’s killing, there had been 10 shootings on the property.
“They did not have consistent manned security patrols, which obviously function to deter criminal activity. They did not hire JSO off-duty officers to patrol that property during off-duty hours despite requests from — not just residents — but from their own employees and suggestions from JSO that they needed that at that complex,” Echarte said.
Attorneys for the Tillie family said the case was settled two weeks before the trial was set to begin this year.
By filing a negligent security lawsuit, according to state law, if someone owns property in a crime-ridden neighborhood and doesn’t provide adequate security, the property owner could face consequences. Attorneys recommend people do their research on apartments, ask about security measures and go into the apartment with eyes wide open.
There’s now new management at the Hyde Park apartment complex, which has been renamed the Riverbank Apartments, and residents told News4JAX that not much has changed since Tillie’s death.
“I would love more security,” said one woman, who wished to remain anonymous and who’s lived at the complex since 2017 when it was still Camelot Gardens. “You hear gunshots. I mean, of course, but as far as, like I say, I’m cautious now. That’s why it’s a safety issue here that everybody should be aware of.”