Derrick Thompson, left, and Alivia Welch appear in this submitted file photo. Thompson and Welch were murdered by their landlord, James Pak, in 2012. Following on the heels of a similar lawsuit by Thompson's mother, Welch's mother has sued the city of Biddeford, its police chief and two officers, who she claims failed to do their jobs in the lead-up to the crime. Credit: Submitted photo

The Biddeford Police Department cannot be held liable for the fatal shootings of two teenagers, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Jon Levy held a hearing in the case last year and granted the city’s motion for summary judgment this week, the Portland Press Herald reported. That decision will dismiss the case, but the plaintiffs have the right to take the case to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

James Pak, now 82, is serving a life sentence for the December 2012 murders of Derrick Thompson, 19, and his girlfriend, Alivia Welch, 18. Pak also shot Thompson’s mother, Susan Stevens, but she survived the attack, according to the Press Herald.

Thompson called police on Dec. 29, 2012, to report that Pak had threatened them, but the officers never asked Pak if he had a gun and left when they decided the dispute was a civil matter, the Press Herald reported, citing court records. Within minutes, Pak entered the apartment with a gun and shot the three tenants.

“One may reasonably ask whether James Pak’s crimes might have been prevented if the police had taken additional affirmative steps to protect the victims in response to the 9-1-1 call,” Levy wrote. “Yet … judges must exercise restraint in cases such as this and remain mindful of their ‘natural sympathy’ and tendency to search for a way to compensate plaintiffs for the grievous harm that they have endured.”

The lawsuit contained multiple claims, but Levy found in part that the actions and inactions by the police officers did not greatly increase the risk of danger to the victims, which was one legal standard that factored into this case.