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Texas Sigma Chi Is Being Sued By Their Security Guard For What Seems Like A Pretty Shaky Reason

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From the Austin American-Statesman:

A security guard who was shot in September by an unruly party guest he forcibly removed from a University of Texas fraternity house is suing his attacker along with the organization that hired him to work the event.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Travis County state District Court, Edward Earls says Sigma Chi is partially responsible for injuries he suffered on the early morning of Sept. 11 when Daniel Magee, 19, retaliated to being thrown out of the party by getting a gun and shooting Earls in the foot. The lawsuit says the fraternity failed to protect the security guard by not alerting police when Magee threatened to get his AK-47 rifle and “shoot up the place.”

Earls, who the lawsuit says is seeking $5 million, alleges his right foot will be amputated if a series of surgeries are unsuccessful.

I feel for the security guard. I hope he keeps his foot and makes a full recovery. But there’s something that doesn’t quite make sense about Earls suing Sigma Chi over their negligence in not calling the police after the drunk kid threatened to shoot up the fraternity house. The kid was being thrown out by the security guard.

About 30 minutes before the shooting, Earls physically removed Magee from the house at the request of the fraternity because he was causing trouble, the police report says. Magee was agitated, according to the affidavit, and vowed to return and shoot partygoers.

Granted, I’m not sure when exactly the suspect, Daniel Magee, started yelling that he was going to come back and start shooting people, but it seems unlikely that he waited five minutes or however long, until the security guard went inside, to start vowing things. Usually that’s something a drunk asshole is yelling as he’s being dragged out, or right after the gate is slammed in his face.

It’s totally plausible that Magee lingered outside Sigma Chi’s gate (the house is surrounded by a wrought iron-type fence that isn’t very far from the house itself) and was agitated again a little later, and then informed anyone in Sigma Chi who would listen that he was unhappy with the manner in which he was escorted from the fraternity’s property and that he would be back in short time to further suss out the situation with his assault rifle. But likely? I’m not so sure.

The timeline is everything here, because if Earls was even remotely aware that Magee was making threats (which seems reasonable to assume considering he was the one throwing Magee out) I’m not sure this suit has a leg to stand on (pun, like, half-intended). He’s the security guard. He should have been the one making sure the property was safe and alerting the authorities if there were any threats. That’s sort of his job.

But, again, the timeline is everything. If Earls legitimately wasn’t around to hear Magee’s threat, but other Sigma Chi’s were, he may have a case. If Earls was around to hear Magee’s threats then mostly he just didn’t do his job.

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