INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis mother is taking legal action following the shooting death of her daughter, Naytasia Williams.
Naytasia Williams died on August 28, 2020, at the age of 25 while visiting a friend at Towne and Terrace housing complex at East 42nd Street and North Post Road.
"My daughter was a very loving individual,” Tina Williams, mother of Naytasia, said. "It's very hard being used to being with your child every day for the past 26 years. It's a routine you just never want to let go."
Tina said her daughter was visiting a friend on Aug. 28, and Tina was waiting for her to come home.
“She said she was visiting a friend's house and in 10 minutes she'd be on the way over to my house," Tina said.
But Naytasia never showed up.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the criminal case, witnesses said a verbal argument occurred between Naytasia and another person at the apartment complex when private security guard Melvin Hall Jr. stood near her car.
Naytasia was sitting in the driver’s seat with the car idling when Hall allegedly drew a firearm and fired three shots, killing her.
"The immediate action was charge, charge, charge, rushing toward someone without even addressing what's your name, like what an officer would do, let me see your identification," Tina said.
Melvin Hall Jr. is charged with Naytasia’s murder.
But Tina said criminal charges are not enough.
On April 15, Tina and her attorney Tim Rowe filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Towne & Terrace, the City of Indianapolis, Melvin Hall Jr., and the security company he worked for — Superior Tactical Response Agency.
It alleges they were negligent and failed to provide adequate security at a location known for crime and violence.
"A lawsuit like this is one way we can bring people to justice and say 'Hey if you are going to hire a security company-do it reasonably,'" Rowe said. "Make sure you check these people out and if you give a person a gun, make sure he's the right person to be there."
WRTV Investigates reported on Hall multiple times between 2015-17 when he was accused of impersonating an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer officer and using lights on his vehicle to pretend to be an officer.
He was found not guilty of one charge of police impersonation in June 2017. Charges of unlawful display of emergency lights and police impersonation were both dismissed at the same time.
"They had someone that worked for them that did not have the temperament to be in this type of situation,” Rowe said. “There's other ways to solve problems than to pull out a gun and shoot someone and I think that's what happened in this situation."
The lawsuit alleges the city-owned some of the vacant units at Towne & Terrace at the time of Naytasia’s death and had a duty to provide a reasonably safe environment.
“Defendants Towne & Terrace Corp. and City of Indianapolis negligently failed to exercise reasonable care to maintain a reasonably safe property at the Towne & Terrace Complex, free of violent crime; failed to exercise reasonable care to protect Williams from violence by tenants, visitors, or security guards at the complex, including gun violence; and failed to provide an appropriate level of security for the conditions in and near the complex,” read the lawsuit filed on April 15.
WRTV reached out to the City’s Office of Corporation Counsel.
"Out of respect for the judicial process, we do not comment on pending litigation," the office said in a statement to WRTV.
Tina hopes her lawsuit prompts better security practices at housing complexes throughout the city.
"Safety is first,” Tina said. “Naytasia would be very proud that I did pursue justice."
Melvin Hall's murder trial is expected to begin next week.
As for the civil lawsuit against him and others, no hearing date has been set yet.
WRTV reached out to Melvin Hall’s attorney and the security company about the wrongful death lawsuit and we are still waiting to hear back.
WRTV also did not get a response from Towne & Terrace.