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Apartment complex among many listed in million dollar lawsuit filed on behalf of injured police officer

Wednesday, the attorney representing the former owner and management said there was no basis for action and asked that his clients be dropped from the lawsuit.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Corpus Christi police officer who was shot in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance at the former Watercolor Apartments back in August has filed a lawsuit seeking over one million dollars in relief.

Senior Officer Manuel Dominguez, a 20-year veteran of the force was responding to a domestic disturbance at the apartments on Weber Road when he was shot multiple times.

Police say the suspect, 20-year-old Joshua Powell opened fire on him and fled the scene.  Following a massive statewide manhunt, Powell was eventually caught the next day in the same area of the crime.

He's now charged with attempted Capital murder.

Among those listed in the suit, the alleged shooter, but also the prior owners of the apartment complex itself where the incident took place.

The officer's attorney Rob George with Liles White Firm claimed that the shooting should have been foreseeable and that the prior owners of the complex allowed criminal activity to occur without action for years.

Wednesday, the attorney representing the former owner and management said there was no basis for action and asked that his clients be dropped from the lawsuit.

The hearing to dismiss was done via Zoom and video recordings were not allowed.

According to court documents, the lawsuit alleged the shooting was not the first criminal activity at the complex and included a prior domestic violence incident involving Powell 3 months before the incident.

The lawsuit which was filed back in October goes on to claim the prior and current owners, operators, or managers of the apartments, "knew or should have known, of the violent and reckless nature of many of the tenants and guests in the Apartments. Nevertheless, Defendants consciously ignored these tenants' and guests' criminal propensities, including but not limited to, Defendant Joshua Powell's.  Instead of evicting these dangerous individuals, Defendants continued to profit from them."

At Wednesday's hearing, the attorney representing the former owner 2014 Corpus Weber Road LLC and Eureka Multifamily Group which managed and leased the apartments, asked for the removal of his clients from the list of Defendants.

The defendant's attorney Doni Mazaheri pleaded his reasoning to County Court at Law Judge Robert Vargas to dismiss his clients from the case saying his clients did not own, operate or manage the property on the day of the shooting and added they sold the property two months prior to the shooting.

Mazaheri also attempted to use the 'common law firefighters' rule'.

The rule basically states that a first responder like a firefighter or police officer cannot recover a premises liability case for injuries that resulted from risks that come from responding to an emergency.

He also asked for the recovery of attorney's fees.

The attorney representing Dominguez objected to the argument regarding the firefighters' rule saying it was filed just two hours before the hearing.

The judge will consider Wednesday's arguments and make a ruling at a later time.

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