The widow and brother of a man killed by a police SWAT team have filed suit against Salt Lake City and a supermarket.
The suit contends Richard Zaro-goza was wrongfully shot in a standoff with police.The action filed in U.S. District Court Wednesday also claims a Har-mon's Shopping Center sold Zaro-goza ammunition after midnight in violation of store policy.
The suit asks for damages to be determined at trial.
Zarogoza was killed July 11, 1989, after a three-hour standoff at his brother's home.
Police were summoned when Zar-ogoza, apparently distraught over marital and financial problems, allegedly threatened his older brother with a .45-caliber handgun.
Police held their fire while Zaro-goza shot several rounds but shot the 29-year-old man when he bent to retrieve a handgun he had dropped.
The Salt Lake County attorney's office concluded that Zarogoza's death was justifiable homicide.
"We were done an injustice," said Zarogoza's wife, Evelyn. "Just because the police do something, doesn't make it right. If someone else had shot my husband, they would have been in serious trouble."
The lawsuit alleges that police refused to allow Mrs. Zarogoza to speak to her husband before he was shot and that officers refused to have an ambulance standing by.
It said Zaragoza had removed the ammunition clip and cleared the action to show it was unloaded.
The suit said that Zarogoza knelt by the gun and sat for about 10 seconds, not moving or speaking, and at that point some officer shot him.
Zarogoza told officers his chest hurt after he was shot, and an officer yelled, "You're damn right it hurts," and kicked him in the chest, the suit says.
It contended Zarogoza's brother, Jerry, tried to get to his brother to help him get medical attention but was assaulted and batted by an officer, choked unconscious and dragged across the street by his feet, face-down on the pavement.
The suit contended Evelyn Zaro-goza suffered extreme emotional distress because police did not allow her to see her husband at death.