The family of Tyrique Hudson, a young software whiz who was gunned down by his deranged downstairs neighbor in Glen Burnie, has sued the apartment complex he lived in for $30 million, arguing that management had an opportunity to prevent his untimely death.
Hudson’s homicide on April 15, 2019, at 22 years old, shocked Anne Arundel County and left his family in North Carolina to grieve and wonder what went awry. His killer, James Allan Verombeck, now 55, pleaded guilty to the murder but was found not criminally responsible by reason of insanity and committed indefinitely to a state psychiatric hospital last year rather than sentenced to prison.
The resolution of the case left Hudson’s family frustrated, as they did not believe Verombeck was mentally ill. Now they’re pursuing a lawsuit against the apartment complex where Hudson lived one floor above Verombeck, Colonial Square LLC, which is part of Baltimore-based A&G Management Co. Inc.
Filed by lawyers Stan Brown and John Costello in Baltimore Circuit Court, the complaint claims the complex didn’t provide adequate security in common areas, neglected to vet Verombeck and failed to protect Hudson from him despite warnings.
This alleged “negligence” led to Hudson being shot dead in the stairwell of the building at 179 Virginia Lane, the lawsuit says. Hudson suffered “consciously severe painful, permanent, and fatal injuries of the body and mind.”
His family, meanwhile, faced “mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, care attention, advice training, education and guidance, all of which are permanent,” the complaint says.
Tonya Burch, Hudson’s mother, and Tyrone Hudson, his father, declined separately to discuss the lawsuit, citing advice from their attorneys.
“Tyrique Hudson’s parents are devastated and it’s very difficult for them to understand what happened to their son,” Brown said. “He was an aspiring engineer who was well loved both in his community back home in North Carolina as well as in Glen Burnie and at work.”
Brown said the apartment complex knew of the potential danger and did nothing.
“The management company and the ownership of that complex were well aware of the criminal record of Mr. Verombeck and they were also well aware of his harassing other tenants, as well as criminal activity at the complex, yet they did absolutely nothing,” Brown said. “As a result, my client Tyrique Hudson lost his life. This is even after my client went to the landlord and asked to be moved to another apartment or another building.”
A lawyer for the apartment complex did not respond to multiples messages requesting comment. In a court filing responding to the lawsuit, attorney Jonathan Clark argued for the case to be transferred from Baltimore, where A&G Management’s principal office is located, to Anne Arundel County, where Hudson was killed.
The family’s complaint alleges the apartment complex had reason to believe Verombeck was dangerous and owned of an unregistered shotgun, and should have done more to protect Hudson from the disgruntled public schools groundskeeper. After being threatened by Verombeck, Hudson brought his concerns to management, according to the lawsuit.
Despite living in the apartment directly above Verombeck, Hudson encountered his downstairs neighbor for the first time about seven months after he moved in. It was Feb. 16, 2019, and Hudson was taking out the trash. In a petition for a peace order, Hudson described Verombeck’s nonsensical remarks and wrote that he drew his thumbs across his neck, a “death gesture,” as Hudson put it.
“Honestly, I’ve been threatened and have a fear just going inside and outside my apartment for the past couple of days,” Hudson had told a District Court judge in Glen Burnie.
Verombeck responded to the allegations by leveling his own: He told the judge, without any evidence, that Hudson was spying on him. He also tried to file charges against Hudson.
The judge denied Hudson’s request for court protection. Judge Devy Patterson Russell presided over the peace order request while on temporary assignment in Anne Arundel County after a state panel that oversees judges determined she screamed at her colleagues in Baltimore and neglected paperwork. She later resigned after being suspended by the Maryland Court of Appeals for her conduct.
Hudson had brought his interaction with Verombeck to the attention of an apartment manager, his mother said in an interview days after his murder. Hudson looked for another residence but was locked into his lease until May 2019. In the meantime, the neighbors had no interaction outside of the courtroom.
While Hudson continued to work at Northrup Grumman, Verombeck kept clocking in for Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Hudson spent his free time with friends or on the phone with family; Verombeck became increasingly consumed by delusions that Hudson had lowered a camera into his apartment to record him and expose his secrets, according to court documents.
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In the morning of April 15, Hudson left for work but didn’t get far. Verombeck fired a shotgun blast into his chest in the stairwell. He then barricaded himself in his apartment.
“It was reasonably foreseeable that the [Defendant’s] negligence would and did in fact enhance the likelihood of James Verombeck assaulting the Plaintiffs’ Decedent Tyrique Hudson because of prior experiences between the two individuals in the common areas of Defendant’s premises which the Defendants knew,” the lawsuit alleges.
By the time of Hudson’s murder, clues of Verombeck’s troubled life had collected in Maryland court and police records.
In 1996, Verombeck brought a sawed off shotgun to a Southern Maryland hospital, threatened employees and threatened suicide. He was captured after a standoff, committed to a psychiatric hospital and convicted of having an unregistered shotgun. A Maryland State Police trooper who convinced Verombeck to surrender specified in his report that Verombeck did something similar five years earlier.
That conviction prohibited him from owning a gun legally, and prosecutors don’t know how he got the shotgun he used to shoot Hudson.
Verombeck also was charged in 2010 with violating a protective order obtained by his ex-wife, who said their brief but tumultuous marriage left her afraid for her life. They were divorced March 2010. She said in an interview she didn’t want Verombeck to go to jail, so long as he stayed away, and prosecutors suspended the case.
The lawsuit claims the apartment complex was liable for “renting to him despite the fact that they knew or should have known, because of his past criminal record that he posed a risk.” Hudson’s family also is seeking compensation for attorneys fees and court costs.