SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Anthony Nunez’s family said he was severely depressed — suicidal — and already suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound when police arrived at his east San Jose home on July 4 last year.
Nunez’s family has filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit accusing the police department of wrongly shooting the 18-year-old who they say was unarmed at the time and posed no threat to officers.
“A call was made for help … He was denied that help. Instead, (the police) brought guns … they shot and killed my boy in front of my house,” said Sandy Sanchez, Anthony’s mother, at a news conference Saturday in San Jose.
Announcing the lawsuit, civil-rights attorney John Burris told reporters “They (police) should not be a situation where a person calls for help and the response is deadly force.”
San Jose police would not comment on the case, citing the pending lawsuit. But, the day after the shooting, police chief Eddie Garcia said his officers fired because they felt threatened after their attempts to de-escalate the situation failed.
Nunez’ mother says she believes the officers’ mishandling of the situation cost her son his life.
“They should have brought ambulances and help for him, not guns,” she said.