Lawsuit alleges security failures in murder of nursing assistant at Jefferson University Hospital

Pedestrians walk past Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Pedestrians walk past Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

A lawsuit has been filed against Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia after a nursing assistant was murdered there last fall.

The lawsuit alleges that the hospital’s security failures resulted in the murder of nursing assistant Anrae James on Oct. 4, 2021.

The alleged gunman Stacey Hayes is accused of walking into the hospital and opening fire on James who died from his injuries.

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Police say Hayes was wearing scrubs and body armor and carrying multiple weapons, including an AR-15-style rifle.

After the shooting, police say Hayes fled in a U-Haul truck but was later spotted by officers in the city’s Parkside section.

According to police, the officers ordered Hayes to “drop the gun” several times, but he ignored their verbal commands and discharged his rifle toward the officers. Four of the officers returned fire.

Two officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being struck by gunfire. Hayes was briefly hospitalized for his injuries.

Lawyers representing the family of Anrae James say he would still be alive today if guards were at their post to stop Hayes.

According to the lawsuit, James and Hayes had been co-workers for several years. The pair reportedly had some personal conflict and it’s alleged that James told the hospital about his concerns.

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“Upon information and belief, Anrae James requested that TJUH, its agents, and its employees move Anrae James into a different part of the Hospital where Anrae James could work and not be nearby to Hayes. Upon information and belief, TJUH ignored this request and/or failed to timely act on this request,” the lawsuit states.

Along with wrongful death and negligence claims, the lawsuit also seeks a jury trial and unspecified monetary damages.

In the days following the deadly shooting, Jefferson Hospital announced a series of safety changes.

James, 43, was a father of three children.

“Anrae loved everyone, especially our three children, and loved his work, helping people every day. Like everyone else at the Hospital, Anrae relied on Jefferson to protect him while at work. He was supposed to feel safe there. We have so many questions and can only hope and pray they’re finally answered at trial,” said Barbara James, who was married to James for 11 years.

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