Family of man who died of suicide during SWAT standoff sues Albuquerque police


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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — The family of an Albuquerque man who killed himself after a shootout with authorities is suing Albuquerque police.

Attorneys for the estate of Santiago Chavez filed a wrongful death lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court and claim Albuquerque police unnecessarily escalated a standoff in June 2012.

Police say Chavez took his own life after a 15-hour standoff with officers following reports he was tossing large rocks at motorists.

Authorities say Chavez and a SWAT officer exchanged gunfire but no one was struck in that exchange. According to police reports, officers sent tear gas into the home in an attempt to get Chavez but he remained inside until he killed himself.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

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