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Tragic Death of Shamecia Byrd Shows Need for Better Security at Oxford Apartments

Shamecia Byrd, a 35-year-old mother, was shot and killed while inside her home at Oxford Apartments in Lawrenceville, Georgia. The bullets were fired from outside her home, and by all accounts, she was an innocent bystander. The suspects escaped, and police are investigating the homicide.

According to resident reviews on Google, crime is not uncommon at Oxford Apartments. One reviewer complained of “drug dealers,” “drug trafficking,” and “cars broken in .” Another claims that police are “always over there for disturbances of some sort.”

One review warns potential tenants that if they hear a promise of “property security or police on property” that it’s actually “a police vehicle from a different county” that “never comes around.”

Many property owners and management companies, when faced with a crime problem in their community, hire security or incentivize off-duty law enforcement officers to park their patrol cars conspicuously and serve as “community resource officers.” These efforts send a message to would-be criminals that people are watching for crime in the neighborhood, making the community less attractive for crimes of opportunity.

Sadly, not all property managers take these proactive steps. Georgia law requires property owners to take reasonable steps to protect their tenants when they are aware of the risk of crime at their communities. If they do not, the families of victims of violent crimes can hold the property owners accountable using the civil justice system.


Chuck Clay practices negligent security law in Atlanta, Georgia. Chuck says, “It’s up to the families of the victims of violent crimes to stand up for their loved ones and seek justice.”


Help Make Atlanta Safe

Police investigate crimes, but they can only do so much to prevent crimes from happening. Property owners, however, have the ability to institute meaningful security measures on their properties. If they are not willing to make improvements, we can use the civil court system to force changes. If all property owners in Atlanta put more focus on security we could help Make Atlanta Safe, one community at a time.

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