Family files lawsuit in fatal Cricket Club shooting

About 75 people marched through Battle Creek demanding justice for Xavier West, shot at the Cricket Club on Thanksgiving in 2021.

About 75 people marched through Battle Creek demanding justice for Xavier West, shot at the Cricket Club on Thanksgiving in 2021.

BATTLE CREEK – The family of a 29-year-old shot and killed at the Cricket Club last year is suing the downtown venue and the shooter in federal court.

The family of Xavier West is seeking “fair and just damages” in a wrongful death suit filed Nov. 17 in US District Court.

West, of Battle Creek, was shot twice in the chest during a fight inside the Cricket Club, 36 W. Michigan Ave., around midnight on Thanksgiving in 2021. He died from his injuries at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital.

Xavier West

Xavier West

The federal lawsuit claims gross negligence and alleges Triple J Endeavors LLC, which owns and operates the Cricket Club, failed to properly staff the bar with enough security the night of the shooting.

The downtown bar with a capacity for 300 was packed for what is typically its busiest night of the year, with 22 security guards working among more than 900 people reported inside the club at the time of the shooting, according to the 11-page complaint.

“Cricket Club failed to have a comprehensive security plan in place that was clearly defined and articulated,” the lawsuit states. “Cricket Club failed to provide basic training in criminal and civil laws relating to the process of legal use of force and self-defense.”

The lawsuit also alleges the club failed to take proper security measures the night of the shooting.

“It did not use wands or metal detectors as patrons entered the bar,” the lawsuit states.

Keenya Hodges, West’s aunt and estate representative living in Texas, is the plaintiff suing Cricket Club’s owners and Adam Yancer, the security guard who fired two shots at West during a fight inside the club.

Yancer was never charged in West’s death. Early this year, Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert cited Michigan’s “stand-your-ground” self-defense law among reasons for not issuing charges against Yancer.

Hodges, who is seeking in excess of $75,000 in damages, could not be reached for comment. Her nephew di lei had a young daughter and had just started a job making solar panels when he died, her lawsuit di lei detailed.

A message seeking comment was not immediately returned by Triple J Endeavors LLC. Filed by Detroit attorneys Michael Jones and Jonathan Marko, the complaint does not list attorneys for the LLC entity.

Police have said the incident began when a fight among customers erupted on the second floor and security guards were escorting some of the people out of the bar.

Adam Yancer moments after shooting Xavier West inside the Cricket Club Nov. 25, 2021.

Adam Yancer moments after shooting Xavier West inside the Cricket Club Nov. 25, 2021.

There were at least two videos of the incident that were captured by bar patrons and posted to social media, and the Battle Creek Police Department obtained security footage from the bar as part of its investigation. Videos show the fight on the first floor of the bar, where Yancer was knocked down, punched and kicked before firing two shots at West.

Police have said West participated in the fight but did not have a weapon.

Responding officers found the gun used in the shooting unloaded in a walk-in fridge area with a magazine and one loose round of ammunition laying next to it. In a brief interview with police immediately following the shooting, Yancer asserted he had been afraid before declining to make further statements.

Police noted in their report the security guard “had blood on his face that appeared fresh and complained of a possible concussion.”

People rallied outside the Cricket Club to protest the death of Xavier West.

People rallied outside the Cricket Club to protest the death of Xavier West.

Michigan’s “stand-your-ground” self-defense law provides an affirmative defense to those using deadly and non-deadly force when faced with threats of great bodily harm, death, or unlawful force from another.

“Based on the information and evidence currently available, self-defense cannot be disproven beyond a reasonable doubt and a criminal conviction is unlikely under our self-defense laws,” Gilbert concluded in the opinion Jan. 25. “The Battle Creek Police Department made public requests for witnesses and other information regarding this matter prior to filing their report with this office for the second time Of the over 900 patrons at this bar at the time of the shooting, approximately 12 gave statements.”

Contact reporter Greyson Steele at gsteele@battlecreekenquirer.com

This article originally appeared on Battle Creek Enquirer: Family files lawsuit in fatal Cricket Club shooting in Battle Creek

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