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Update: California Police Shooting Could Create Wrongful Death Claim

Recently, a father, who was a Marine, was killed in California by a police officer and in front of his children. The death of the father may result in a finding against the police officer that the shooting was a wrongful death of the father. The father was a Marine and worked at the local Camp Pendleton. He precedes his four children and wife, who gave birth to their fourth child after the incident occurred.

The incident occurred in California’s San Clemente High School’s parking lot. The father, a daughter age 14 and another daughter age 9 were all in the family’s SUV when the father was shot multiple times. The police officer, who killed the father, made an initial statement that he shot the father for his own safety. In a second statement, the police officer stated he fired his gun at the father for the safety of the children. It was reported the father was unarmed during this incident. The family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Following the incident, the local police department retained custody of the two children for approximately 13 hours. The children were not allowed to be with their mother during this time. The police department held the children for questioning regarding the shooting.

The police officer who shot the father was put on administrative leave following the shooting. The administrative leave ended on March 2, 2012, and the police officer has returned to work. Although the police officer has returned to work, he has not been assigned to patrol duty.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, “Marine daughters held 13 hours after he was shot, attorney says,” Christopher Goffard, March 07, 2012; The Sacramento Bee, “OC deputy who killed Marine is back at work,” March 09, 2012