The family of a Vancouver man shot and killed by police three years ago has filed at $11.5 million lawsuit against the city.
Police said Nikkolas Lookabill threatened them with a handgun and left officers no choice but to shoot when they were called out to Fruit Valley Road in the early morning hours of Sept. 7, 2010.
Lookabill's family disagrees.
They said he was in the military and diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder after returning from Iraq. The lawsuit alleges police knew about his condition and accuses officers of not handling the situation properly.
Prosecutors said Lookabill was carrying a gun and barking like a dog, prompting neighbors to call police. They said Lookabill was confronting them and asking if they were a friend or an enemy.
Police said when they arrived, Lookabill told them he had a gun in his waistband. They ordered him to get on the ground and he did. However, prosecutors said several minutes later the situation escalated and Lookabill was shot.
It's what happened when Lookabill was on the ground that has the man's family filing a lawsuit.
The family's lawyer said Lookabill told police he had a gun and he wanted them to retrieve it. He did not reach for the gun himself, according to the lawsuit.
Prosecutors said Lookabill defied the officers' commands and deliberately reached for the gun, forcing them to shoot.
Police fired 13 rounds and Lookabill died at the scene.
"You know, every day I see his picture on the wall and see something that just reminds you of him and it's one of those, it just brings a tear to your eye," Frank Wescom said. "It should never have happened."
The lawsuit is now in the hands of the city attorney who said it's a tragedy someone was killed, but Vancouver officials believe officers followed proper training and protocol.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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