(COLORADO SPRINGS) – The family of a 13-year-old girl who was paralyzed after being shot in the parking lot of the Citadel Mall in May 2022 is now demanding justice.
The family of Makayla Anderson is filing a lawsuit against the Citadel Mall, alleging that their security is inadequate.
On May 22, 2022, in the parking lot of Burlington Coat Factory and The Hot Spot at the Citadel Mall, Makayla Anderson’s life completely changed in a matter of seconds. Anderson was just 12 years old at the time when she got caught up in the crossfire of the shooting. Anderson was shot in the chest, which paralyzed her from the armpits down.
“Her legs are paralyzed and the doctors say she’s most likely not going to walk again. Because of the nerve damage from the neck, she can’t raise her right arm. She’s in excruciating pain,” said Makayla’s mom, Marjorie Anderson.
Anderson now requires around-the-clock medical care, and her family alleges that it is the mall’s responsibility to keep their patrons safe.
“The thing that companies have to realize is that when they create unsafe, unsafe situations, there are consequences,” said Kelley Simoneaux, one of the attorneys representing Anderson, and the founder of The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm.
According to data presented by Anderson’s attorneys, in 2022 there were 15 counts of shots fired or weapon display at the Citadel Mall and Citadel Crossings. The most recent shooting just two weeks ago, which left one dead.
“We won’t come alone… I don’t take my kids with me to this mall… Ever since I’ve lived in the Springs, it’s never been safe,” said Amanda Kazar, who lives in Colorado Springs. “I’ll go over to Chapel Hills [Mall] instead.”
FOX21 reached out to the Citadel Mall as well as their parent company Namdar Realty Group for comment but has not received a response. Namdar Realty Group owns over 50 malls across the country, including the Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs.
“They own the other mall here in Colorado Springs, which is not having anywhere near these types of incidents. That is what we’ll be looking at, too, because why?… Is it a demographic thing? Is that happening because the Citadel has a different clientele?” said L. Chris Steward, one of the attorneys representing Anderson.
The Anderson family now fighting to hold the mall accountable.
“It’s very discouraging that nobody is answering to this terrible crime. She was an innocent bystander and this changed her life and our family’s life forever. I will fight for justice for Makayla as long as I need to,” said Makayla’s mom, Marjorie.