New York Feb 15 2017 A security guard gunned down by a disgruntled ex-U.S. Department of Labor employee died an “entirely preventable” death — because nobody warned him the former staffer was dangerous, a new $10 million lawsuit alleges.
Onetime Labor Department worker Kevin Downing walked into the federal office building on Varick and Houston streets around 5 p.m. on Aug. 21, 2015, and fatally shot security guard Idrissa Camara, 53, in the head before turning the gun on himself.
Camara’s family claims in a new lawsuit that Downing, 68, “was a well-known danger” who had made such serious threats that the Labor Department and General Services Administration — which runs operations at federal buildings — posted an extra security guard outside the Labor Department’s eighth-floor offices.
But the father of three, who came to the U.S. from the Ivory Coast in 1991, “was never warned of the threat” — even though he was stationed at the security checkpoint on the ground floor, where his "primary job responsibility was to protect the building," the suit claims.
Neither government agency gave Camara, nor other guards on the ground floor, a photo or description of Downing.
They also didn’t tell his security firm to warn the guards about him, according to court papers.
“Because these agencies recklessly and callously disregarded Mr. Camara’s life and safety, he was unknowing and defenseless when Mr. Downing walked into 201 Varick Street that day with a gun — and he died as a result," the Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit claims.
“Mr. Camara’s death was entirely preventable, but (Labor Department) and GSA did nothing to prevent it. They are responsible for his death,” the suit says.
Neither reps for the GSA nor U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., responded to requests for comment Tuesday.
The Labor Department did not immediately comment.
“This is a death that could have been avoided and it's a horrible tragedy for the family,” said the family's lawyer, Andrew Celli, who described the incident as a systematic failure.
“This is a city that is deeply committed to preventing terrorism," Celli said. "This was an act of terrorism for which there was a warning — and nothing was done to tell our law enforcement folks to be on guard for this fellow.”
NY Daily News