POSTED: 12:20 p.m. HST, Feb 25, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 12:21 p.m. HST, Feb 25, 2013
LIHUE » The family of a man shot to death by Kauai police a year ago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the department, Kauai County and the officer involved in the shooting.
The suit was filed by the family of Richard Louis in Fifth Circuit Court in Kauai, The Garden Island reported today.
Louis was killed as officers came to arrest him at his home on a $310,000 warrant.
Louis had missed a court hearing two months earlier where he was convicted of theft, gun and drug charges.
Police said the 62-year-old Louis barricaded himself in his home, ignored orders to surrender and threatened to kill an officer with a metal object.
Gregory Meyers, a lawyer for his family, said Louis' home was surrounded; he posed no danger; and was not a flight risk.
The lawsuit accuses the agencies and officer of assault and battery, unlawful search and seizure, unnecessary use of deadly force, negligent training, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful death.
Police Chief Darryl Perry said he could not comment on the events that led to the shooting because the case is still being investigated.
"However, I can say that our officers are highly trained in the use of deadly force as mandated by Hawaii Revised Statutes, and I stand firmly behind the necessary actions taken by the officer given the totality of circumstances," Perry said.
About three hours after police arrived at his home, Louis was seen on the roof of his house in an aggressive and agitated state, police said.
An officer went on the roof to try to detain him, but Louis grabbed a metal object and threatened to kill the officer before the officer fired, police said at the time.
Neighbors said police fired four shots at Louis.
The lawsuit said no weapons were recovered, and garden tools police said Louis wielded were more than 100 feet from the spot where Louis was shot.