GLENDALE, Colo. (CBS4) – The mother of John Pacheaco Jr., 36, who was shot and killed by Glendale police last year has sent a legal notice that she may sue the department, the city, and the officers involved for as much as $20 million, saying officers acted recklessly and unreasonably.
The notice sent this week by Jamie Fowler — Pacheaco’s mother — says police violated Pacheaco’s civil rights and his rights under Colorado law.
Capt. Mike Gross with the Glendale Police Department told CBS4 he had not yet seen a copy of the document so could not comment.
The incident in question occurred on Oct. 31. Pacheaco was behind the wheel of a Dodge pickup truck which had been reported stolen. The truck was stopped on northbound Colorado Boulevard near Alameda Avenue at about 10 p.m. Police responded to do a “wellness check” as the vehicle was stopped in traffic. Police said Pacheaco was initially unresponsive. But video obtained by CBS4 shows the truck suddenly lurch forward several feet, then go into reverse before it hit a Glendale police vehicle.
There are no indications Pacheaco was armed.
According to the intent to sue, Glendale officers fired “more than 10 rounds from point-blank range.”
Pacheaco died soon after the shooting.
Attorneys for Fowler wrote, “Colorado law outlaws deadly force against someone fleeing from the police who does not pose an immediate risk of death or serious bodily injury to others. Finally, Officers Neal McCormick and Chandler Phillips acted in a manner that was objectively unreasonable, reckless, deliberately indifferent and willful and wanton manner, under the circumstances, when they fired their weapons into the vehicle occupied by Mr. Pacheaco, killing him.”
The attorneys contend that economic damages in the case could exceed $10 million and noneconomic damages will likely exceed $10 million.
Pacheaco’s mother, Jamie Fowler, previously told CBS4 her son’s death was “Like a firing squad. It was wrong. It was all wrong,” she said.
The Denver District Attorney’s office is investigating the shooting and will determine if the officer’s actions were legally justified.