NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Council voted Tuesday night 44-to-0 in favor of a $35,000 lawsuit settlement involving the next of kin of a Waffle House shooting victim.
“I want to thank this body for understanding that it was never about the money, but ensuring that these lives will forever have meaning, and again, this won’t happen again to any other family,” District 28 Councilwoman Tanaka Vercher said.
The lawsuit was brought by Shaundelle Brooks, the mother of Akilah DaSilva, who lost his life during the Waffle House shooting on April 22, 2018.
The lawsuit was filed after it was discovered emergency personnel were originally dispatched to the wrong Waffle House. First responders were first sent to the Waffle House at 816 Murfreesboro Pike, however, the shooting took place at the Waffle House located at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike in Antioch. According to Metro Council’s meeting agenda, the error was discovered and corrected within 89 seconds of initial dispatch to the wrong Waffle House.
The first 911 call came in at 3:24 a.m. and the first officer arrived on the scene at 3:32 a.m.
DaSilva was shot twice causing critical damage to his heart and died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Metro Department of Emergency Communications acknowledged errors were made during the dispatch, however, the Department of Law said it didn’t believe those errors amounted to gross negligence. Metro retained a trauma physician to review the medical records, who said due to the extent of his injuries, a delay in emergency response most likely wouldn’t have prevented DaSilva’s death. The Department of Law recommended settling the case for $35,000.
“This has never been about money, it was about needed policy change and accountability, and it should not have taken two years and a lawsuit to get Metro to accept responsibility for dispatching the emergency response to the wrong place during a mass shooting,” Brooks’ attorney Daniel Horwitz said. “Ms. Brooks is proud to have helped prevent the next family from experiencing tragedy as a result of the ’significant errors’ that Metro now admits occurred here, she is glad to have resolved this matter, and she will continue to seek justice for her beloved son.”
More information on the settlement can be found on page three of Metro Council’s Tuesday night agenda.