LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — One week after deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department killed Terron Boone in a shootout in Rosamond, a lawsuit has been filed against the county on behalf of the woman and child who were also in the vehicle.
“They still need to be held accountable, and the way that they can be held accountable is with a civil claim,” attorney Bradley Gage said. “So that’s what this is about.”
Gage has field a claim against Los Angeles County on behalf of Shellondra Thomas and her 7-year-old daughter for what happened during the June 17 shootout between Thomas’ former boyfriend and sheriff’s deputies.
Doorbell video captured the barrage of gunfire that erupted that day as the sheriff’s department said detectives were trying to arrest Boone, 31, who was wanted on suspicion of beating his girlfriend and holding her captive for nearly a week.
Boone was a passenger in Thomas’ Jeep when investigators said he opened the door and began firing at deputies who fired back and killed him. No deputies were injured, and investigators said they recovered a gun at the scene.
Gage said Thomas was struck in her chest by shrapnel and her daughter was in the backseat watching as the shooting unfolded.
“Anytime that a 7-year-old witnesses a shooting death, that’s going to be traumatic,” Gage said. “She was taken into custody by the sheriff’s department, held for up to about 12 hours, questioned by a team of adults, denied any adult with her.”
Gage said the physical and psychological injuries suffered by Thomas and her daughter, as well as Boone’s death, could have been avoided.
He said the department should have approached the situation differently knowing that Boone was the half-brother of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old Black man whose hanging death is still under investigation.
“They should have realized that he would be very worried about four different unmarked cars coming up and surrounding him,” Gage said. “What was he to expect other than he was going to be the victim of the same types of killing that his brother had just undergone a week earlier.”
The sheriff’s department declined to comment on the claims, citing department policy regarding ongoing litigation.