Police process the scene of a shooting at the BP gas station at 100 Chicago Ave. in Oak Park on June 22. | Photo by Lourdes Nicholls

The family of the 18-year-old woman who was fatally shot outside an Oak Park BP gas station last June has filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against the station’s owner, Hargobind Inc. The lawsuit argues gas station ownership is at fault due to its lax security and failure to protect the safety of its customers.

“It appears that they put profit over people, which is the unfortunate reality of living in America,” said Karen Munoz, the attorney representing the victim’s family.

Jailyn Logan-Bledsoe

At the time of her death, Jailyn Logan-Bledsoe, an Oak Park and River Forest High School graduate, was in the parking lot of the BP gas station located at 100 Chicago Ave., when she was approached from behind by two individuals who opened fire at about 1:50 a.m., June 22. One offender then fled in Logan-Bledsoe’s vehicle.

Two siblings were charged with first-degree murder for Logan-Bledsoe’s death, but her mother is seeking accountability from the gas station, which at the time was operating 24 hours a day and has been cited in multiple police reports.

“There were no measures taken to prevent activity like this happening, even though it was foreseeable based on prior criminal acts,” Munoz told Wednesday Journal.

The lawsuit alleges that the gas station had a duty to its customers to keep the station in such a condition as to be reasonably safe for the community and its customers. The family is seeking damages in whatever amount the jury sees fit.

Attributing the data to the Oak Park Police Department, the filing states that there were 160 armed robberies reported in Oak Park between Jan. 3, 2019, and June 20, 2022, with 14 taking place at gas stations. Of the 14, one occurred at the station where Logan-Bledsoe was murdered.

The filing further states that, between Jan. 1, 2019, and Oct. 21, 2022, there were 58 reported vehicular hijackings in Oak Park with four occurring at gas stations. One happened at that same BP gas station and the other three at gas stations within a two-mile radius.

The gas station has also been the target of assaults, shootings and disturbances, according to the filing, which listed a Feb. 17, 2022 incident where an employee called police after a man at the station threatened to “blow someone’s head off.”

The death of Logan-Bledsoe put 24-hour gas stations and the crime that occurs there at the forefront of the community’s attention. Nearby residents and other 24-hour convenience stores beseeched the village board to enact legislation banning around the clock operations, which it did in September.

A group of Oak Park gas stations filed a lawsuit against village government over the ordinance, which dictates gas stations close nightly at 11 p.m. and open at 5 a.m. Wednesday Journal has reached out to the attorneys representing the stations for comment. The ordinance went into effect in November, with the village beginning enforcement the day before Thanksgiving.

Guests participate in a prayer circle on June 25, during a gun violence rally outside the BP gas station on Chicago Avenue in Oak Park. | Alex Rogals

Logan-Bledsoe was a young activist, following in the footsteps of her grandmother Phyllis Logan, the longtime leader of the Westside Branch NAACP. She loved music, her family and her dog, who has fallen into depression in her absence, Munoz said.

“It’s affected this family so much that it’s hard to get up every day,” she said.

Logan-Bledsoe was taking some time off to figure out what she wanted to do with her life, following her high school graduation, according to Munoz. 

“She seemed like just such a beautiful person,” said Munoz. “Who knows what she could have accomplished in life.”

Join the discussion on social media!