A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against a West Valley police officer who accidentally shot a motorist he thought was driving intoxicated in 2003.
In a hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell ruled Dan Willoughby did not violate the constitutional rights of John Lee Kitchen when Kitchen was shot in the shoulder during a struggle in a grocery store parking lot on Sept. 1, 2003.
Court records state that on his way home from vacation with his wife, Willoughby noticed a vehicle weaving in and out of traffic lanes. While he was off duty at the time and in civilian clothes, Willoughby notified police and followed the driver into a grocery store parking lot.
Both men dispute whether Willoughby identified himself as a police officer before Willoughby reached through the driver's side window to take Kitchen's keys. The two men struggled and when Kitchen began walking toward Willoughby to get his keys, Willoughby said he drew his gun, which accidentally went off, hitting Kitchen in the left shoulder.
Campbell's order also alleviates West Valley City from any liability from the incident.