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Wrongful death settlement reached after fatal shooting

Altercations between police officers and civilians have become all too common these days. Unfortunately, some of these altercations turn deadly. In 2011, a Pennsylvania man was shot and killed by two policemen outside an apartment building in Farrell.

A woman, the administratix of the man's estate, filed a wrongful death suit against the officers, which was recently settled for $150,000. Half of the settlement will be put into a fund for the man's three children. The woman will receive a total of $27,456, and the rest will be paid to her law firm.

The incident occurred when Southwest Mercer County Regional police responded to a domestic disturbance made by the same woman, saying that the man had threatened her with a gun and that he wanted to have a shootout with police. Police confronted the man who allegedly refused to cooperate. The man proceeded to grab his shirt with one hand and reach around himself with the other hand. The District Attorney on the case said that this behavior made police think that he had a concealed weapon, which lead them to shoot at him. However, the man did not actually have a weapon.

The lawsuit alleges that the man was not a threat and that officers should have attempted to handle the situation with non-deadly force. The suit was settled in mediation in October 2014. There is no admission of liability in the settlement contract, but the settlement is declared "a compromise of a disputed claim." The woman is prohibited from commenting publicly about anyone connected with the department. With the settlement finalized, the woman and the man's family will hopefully be able to find a way to move forward from their tragedy.

Source: The Herald, "Southwest PD settles shooting suit for $150,000," Joe Pinchot, Feb. 28, 2015

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