CHICAGO — The family of a popular bartender who was assaulted, robbed and run over outside of a 7-Eleven returned to where it all happened Thursday, demanding the company take responsibility for the death.
Marques Gaines’s family initially sued the cab company, but now they say 7-Eleven is liable because it failed to provide a properly trained security guard during the late-night hours.
“The simple reason we’re here is that a corporation that keeps its stores open 24 hours a day and invites the public in – and Marques Gaines was just off his night shift after work – that knows that it’s targeted by criminals, needs to provide decent, competent, basic security and that wasn’t done here,” said Christopher Hurley, the family’s attorney.
The lawsuit centers on the question of culpability over the death of 32-year-old Marques Gaines.
On Feb. 7, Gaines was at the 7-Eleven on north State Street. The store’s security footage shows him making a purchase. At the same time, a man walked in and was promptly kicked out by a 7-Eleven security guard.
When he walked out, Gaines appeared to get into some kind of argument with the man.
Gaines was punched in the face and he fell to the ground. As Gaines was unconscious in the street, someone ran up and picked his pockets.
The 7-Eleven guard called 911 but neither the guard nor at least ten bystanders moved him out of the street. At that point, a cab turned the corner and ran over Gaines. He was pinned, and footage from the cab shows the struggle to free him.
Eventually, police and paramedics got to him from underneath the car and rushed him to the hospital, where he died.
“How could people just walk by like nothing happened? This is a human. This is a person, what if it was your own family, how would you feel about that,” said Drexina Nelson, the victim’s cousin.
There have been no arrests in this case. The cab driver was not ticketed. Gaines’s family hopes someone recognizes the man who strikes him in the video.
WGN News’s attempts to reach 7-Eleven were unsuccessful.