BALTIMORE (AP) — The family of a Baltimore man fatally shot by police has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, alleging that he wasn’t posing a threat and that most of the bullets hit him in the back or buttocks.
The lawsuit, filed last week in Baltimore City Circuit Court, claims that Baltimore Officer Jethro Estavien shot 25-year-old George Wells six times, including three times in the back and once in the buttocks.
Baltimore police spokesman Ruganzu Howard said Estavien no longer works for the department but declined to comment further. A message left at a home number listed for Estavien was not returned Tuesday.
At the time Wells was shot, police said he had an “edged weapon” and had gotten into a physical altercation with Estavien.
But his family’s lawsuit says the evidence shows that Estavien was in the driver’s side of his police car, shot Wells from 20 feet away, and that Wells was not posing a threat, according to The Daily Record.
The pattern of wounds suggests (Wells) was facing away from the car,” said Anton Iamele, the attorney representing Wells’ family.
Besides the four shots to Wells’ back and Buttocks, the family’s lawsuit said that Wells was hit in the elbow and grazed in the chest. The order in which the shots were fired is unknown, Iamele said.
Police had been looking for Wells after being called to a home in response to a reported domestic disturbance, according to the lawsuit.
Wells’ girlfriend told police that the couple had an argument, but she did not have visible injuries, according to the lawsuit.
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