Rapper Sued Over Fatal Shooting Outside Connecticut Concert

WATERBURY, Conn. (CN) – The family of a Connecticut man shot and killed after a concert by rapper Meek Mill is suing the artist and the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford for inciting violence, negligence and inadequate security measures.

The family of New Haven resident Travis Ward, who was gunned down in the parking lot of the Wallingford theater on Dec. 30 as he was celebrating his 31st birthday, filed a lawsuit against the rapper, whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams.

Jaquan Graves, 20, also from New Haven, was killed as well. Two others were injured, including Nathan Mitchell, 25, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Waterbury Superior Court by attorney Joel Faxon.

Ward and Mitchell did not know each other. No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting.

“With song titles like ‘Body Count’ and ‘Ooh kill ‘em,’ that praise indiscriminate killing and mayhem, the potential for tragic incidents like this should have been properly anticipated and planned for by Meek Mill, his concert promoters and the Oakdale Theatre,” Faxon said in a statement.

According to the complaint, a melee broke out shortly after the concert, during which a concertgoer fired a gun and hit Mitchell and Ward.

The lawsuit says the victims “were unarmed and did not contribute to, incite or in any fashion participate in the melee” that broke out in the venue’s parking lot.

It goes onto claim that the Oakdale Theatre “allowed thugs to remain on the defendants premises, after exhibiting disorderly, disruptive, argumentative, angry and/or agitated behavior toward patrons.” It also says the theater failed to retain adequate security, especially considering previous concerts by Mill have ended in violence.

The theatre did not respond Wednesday to requests for comment.

“The venue security was grossly understaffed and ill-equipped to deal with the hazardous environment presented by any Meek Mill concert,” Faxon said in a press release. “A strong police presence was required. After this incident The Oakdale beefed up the security substantially, but it was too late for Mr. Ward and Mr. Mitchell. They were innocent concertgoers who ended up in a war zone.”

A publicist for Mill also did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Mill is a Philadelphia native with a criminal history, including drug and weapons charges, according to Faxon.

Previous Mill concerts have also ended in “violent outbursts in the parking lot,” Faxon claims in the lawsuit.

He said multiple shootings occurred in Wilmington, Del., in 2013 and several brawls happened outside Club Lush at Tuxedo Junction in Danbury, Conn., in 2011 following concerts by Mill.

The lawsuit seeks more than $15,000 in damages.

Ward’s estate, through his mother Jacqueline Bond, and Mitchell are represented by Faxon, who is based in New Haven.

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