Eugene Mallory, 80, was shot and killed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in his home, while he was still in his bed. Deputies raided the home with a warrant granted because there was suspicion the home contained a meth lab due to the statements of an unnamed detective who claimed to have 'smelled meth chemicals.' Upon finalization of the search, no meth or meth making equipment was found.
The incident took place June 27, 2013 and has come back to the headlines because Mallory's widow, Tonya Pate, 48, is speaking out for the first time in outrage, and to announce a $50 million lawsuit against the city for the wrongful death of her husband. Mallory was a retired engineer from Lockheed Martin, with over 40 years on the job.
Both parties agree that a search warrant was executed on the property, but what is in dispute is the moment when Mallory and deputies made initial contact. The Sheriff's Department's official story is that upon entering Mallory's bedroom, he pointed a gun at them and deputies had no choice but to shoot the elderly man six times.
The official spokesperson for the sheriff's department, Steve Whitmore, said:
Age does not preclude somebody from being aggressive toward deputies. The lesson here is, obviously, and forgive me for stating the obvious, but don’t pull a gun on a deputy.
The sheriff department's story isn't accurate according to Pate's lawyer, James Bergener, who said:
He was shot in his bed before there was any warning given.
There are other facts to consider. The featured image for this article, obtained through the local reporting of KTLA.com, is Mallory's glasses which were still on his bedside when he was shot. Pate claims her elderly husband had extremely diminished eyesight and that he would never raise a gun to officers. She said:
He would never point a gun at officers. He respected law, and fire. He would always give them thumbs up.
Marijuana was found on the property, in Mallory's adult son's room. Police have not said how much marijuana, whether it be a pound or a gram, was found. However the sheriff's department is using this find to justify the search, and the shooting. Spokesperson Whitmore said:
Marijuana was found. There was certainly a drug operation going on inside this house.
Pate's $50 million lawsuit is currently pending.
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