An Atlanta photographer is suing a Gwinnett County real estate agency for negligence after he was shot on the job.
Whitney Morris claims Buford-based Real Estate Expert Advisors failed to notify a homeowner that he was coming to take pictures.
The homeowner, Belinda Brooks, shot Morris as he was attempting to photograph her home.
Morris is also suing Brooks, and realtor Tracy Cousineau, who runs Real Estate Expert Advisors.
Morris was assigned to take photos of Brooks’ home in Winston in Douglas County, the suit says. He went to the house on the morning of Jan. 31 and unlocked the front door using a key from a lock box, to which he was given a code.
When Morris opened the door, a security alarm went off, the suit says. Morris checked the lock box for a security code, but didn’t find one.
Brooks, who was in a back bedroom in the home when the alarm sounded, got a gun and shot through the bedroom wall or door striking Morris, the suit says.
Morris told the homeowner he was the photographer directed to take photos of her home. Brooks said she was not informed that a photographer would be coming, according to the suit. She called 911, told dispatchers she had shot Morris and reiterated that she had not been told he was coming to her house.
Brooks told the 911 operator that she thought someone was breaking into her home when she fired the shot. She did not return a call for comment Thursday.
Cousineau, the realtor, disputed Brooks’ claims and said the homeowner was notified about the photographer coming. The shooting was a “tragic situation,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Morris was “very seriously injured” in the shooting and has been limited in his capacity to work and do everyday tasks, said Mike Rafi, one of Morris’s attorneys. Morris is still awaiting multiple surgeries.
“He is really struggling,” Rafi said.
Morris is suing for damages including personal injuries, lost earnings and medical expenses.
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