WICHITA, Kan. — A widow can proceed with a $5 million lawsuit accusing Wichita police of wrongdoing when they rushed into her home and shot and wounded her husband, a federal judge has ruled.
According to the lawsuit filed by Michlle Richard, her husband, Stacy Richard, sustained wounds in the shooting that led to his suicide months later. The lawsuit names officers, the police department and the city as defendants.
In a recent ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Eric Melgren said Mrs. Richard made a “plausible claim” that the shooting — which her husband survived — led to his eventual death. Melgren says Mrs. Richard laid out a sufficient legal claim that Wichita police used excessive force and that the city failed to properly train its officers, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://j.mp/2dRYC2J).
The ruling was in response to a motion by the city to dismiss the lawsuit, contending officers can enter a home without a warrant to give emergency aid to an injured person. Melgren’s ruling also said the defendants argue the officers were justified in the shooting because they reasonably believed Stacy was pointing a firearm at them.
The judge’s ruling says police were called to the home in February 2014 on a report that Stacy Richard was armed and suicidal. Officers found him in the house with a gun, which they asked him to drop. He then may have pointed his gun toward the officers, who then shot him 16 times.
His medical bills from the shooting exceeded $400,000 and left him in “constant pain.” He killed himself in October 2014, the judge’s order said.
Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com