A lawsuit filed on behalf of a 29-month-old girl whose father was killed while working as a security guard at a South Los Angeles marijuana dispensary last summer alleges he was untrained for the job and not given any weapons or a protective vest.
Siosifa Maama, a 21-year-old Tongan native, was gunned down about 9:50 p.m. July 19 at Healing Hands on South Broadway, according to Los Angeles police. The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Tuesday on his daughter’s behalf by the girl’s mother, Klarisa Salazar of Lawndale, names as defendants the dispensary as well as James Phan and Renee Orosco, described as owners and operators of Healing Hands.
Phan and Orosco could not be immediately reached for comment on the suit, which seeks unspecified damages and compensation for funeral and burial costs.
According to police, three or four male suspects were attempting to rob the dispensary when the shooting occurred. Police said a security guard was also killed at the same pot shop about a year earlier, and that shooting is noted in the lawsuit.
Maama was hired in April 2017 by Healing Hands to provide security at the dispensary, which was known by its owners to be located in a high-crime area that had been the sight of previous violence, according to the lawsuit.
The area outside the front of the dispensary where Maama was shot was dimly lit when up to six individuals tried to rob the location, the suit states. Maama died at the scene about 20 minutes later.
The dispensary owners knew Maama had no prior security guard experience and did not provide him with any equipment or training, according to the lawsuit, whjch says Maama was unarmed, had no protective vest and was instructed to wear a T-shirt with “Security” scrawled across it.
“Further, (Maama) did not even have a phone or radio he could use to call for assistance when it was needed,” the suit states.