CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) — More than three years after Trinard Snell was shot and killed at a Liberty City car wash, the owners of the gas station that paid the 24-year-old employee will be paying his family as well.

Snell’s mother, Zoreta Snell, filed a $5.7 million lawsuit and won, claiming the owners did nothing to protect her son and other customers of the car wash and gas station.

The gas station has a history of violent crimes against persons on the property..

It should come as no surprise: the gas station ranks in the top three percent nationwide for its robbery risk, according to the Haggard Law Firm, which represents Ms. Snell.

The law firm formally announced the jury’s findings at a 10 a.m. news conference outside its Coral Gables office.

When asked why she filed the suit, Snell didn’t hesitate: “I just really don’t want this to happen to another family,” she said.

“(Trinard) was so full of life…so happy…and for it to happen the way that it did…I’m just stunned,” Snell added.

Trinard Snell was shot and killed on June 9, 2009 at the NW 71st Street Valero gas station.

Snell was sitting under a tent at the car wash, waiting for the next customer to arrive.

Three black men in their 20s came up behind Snell, attempting to rob him and another employee of cash – the only method of payment accepted by the car wash.

Unable to see what was going on, Snell jumped up and ran but was shot from behind and killed. The men then sped off in a white GMC Yukon Denali SUV.

“The tragedy of this case is that it was entirely preventable,” Snell lamented.

The other tragedy of the case: Trinard Snell’s two children no longer have a dad.

“He loved his son. Everywhere he went, he had that boy with him if he wasn’t working,” Zoreta Snell said.

Trinard also had a daughter—one he never had the chance to meet. She was born after the 24-year-old’s murder.

Trinard’s mom said she will do her best to take Trinard’s place.

“I can’t bring back my son, but I can do the best I can and show my grandchildren love,” Snell said.


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