LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The family of a man shot by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy says he was murdered and plans to file a lawsuit against the department.
Terry Laffitte was shot and killed in a deputy-involved shooting in the 6100 block of Miramonte Boulevard, in the backyard of the home where he grew up and still lived in the unincorporated area of south Los Angeles.
“Terry Laffitte was murdered,” said the family’s attorney, Randy McMurray. He said the family “absolutely” anticipates filing a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department.
Investigators said the incident started when Laffitte was riding his bike erratically in the middle of the street just after 9 p.m. May 19.
“He was drunk, he was weaving, we wanted to speak to him,” said Steve Whitmore of the LA County Sheriff’s Department. “He refused to comply.”
The incident report indicates Laffitte ignored the deputies’ commands and rode his bike to the rear of the house. Witnesses said deputies pulled Laffitte to the ground. The Sheriff’s department said Laffitte pulled a gun on deputies, who then shot him.
Laffitte’s family disputes that he was intoxicated at the time of the shooting. But a coroner’s report found that Laffitte had an alcohol level of 0.1 at the time of his death, the DUI level for drivers.
A press release issued by the family’s attorney said Laffitte died of a contact gunshot to the back of his head. The statement said Deputy Medical Examiner Jeffrey P. Gutstadt agreed that the head wound was delivered “execution style.”
Quincy Williams was Laffitte’s nephew and witnessed the shooting. According to Williams, the deputies took cell phones from three or four people who had recorded the incident. He said the department still has the phones.
“Really all the family wants is for the cops to be in jail,” said Williams.
The Sheriff’s department said they welcome the lawsuit and look forward to setting the record straight.
Laffitte is survived by his wife and three daughters.