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A man was shot by two police officers in 1998 and his family is now suing for wrongful death. The court case started this week. The victim had been visiting his parent’s home and the police were called because he was acting suicidal. When the police arrived he was holding a knife that the officers believed to be a gun.

In opening statements, defense attorney Andrew Morse said Peterson fired because Walker was facing him in a “shooter’s stance” with arms out-stretched holding an object Peterson thought was a .38 Special revolver, Morse said.

“He sees a gun,” Morse said. “He thinks he’s dead. He thought Walker had the drop on him.”

The events of the evening were witnessed by the victim’s mother, sister and brother-in-law. Their accounts are different from the police officers. The jury will have to decide on many key points in the case, including whether the man was a threat to others.

If you would like to read more about wrongful death, please visit InjuryBoard’s Wrongful Death information page.

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