The mother of a 21-year-old man shot to death last year by Kansas City police officers filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday.
The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City says police used unreasonable and excessive force when they shot Waylen Wealot while they were in the 4000 block of East 11th Street.
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According to the lawsuit, several weeks before the incident a group described as “aggressors” had threatened Wealot, prompting him to buy a pistol for protection. On March 29, 2013, those people drove by Wealot’s house in a van and drove on the sidewalk in an attempt to hit Wealot’s brother, the suit says.
Fearing for his brother’s safety, Wealot fired shots at the van. Two nearby police officers heard the shots, came to the scene and approached Wealot, who began running, according to the suit.
The suit says Wealot never pointed the gun at officers and threw it to the ground as he ran. After chasing him to the rear of the residence, police shot him multiple times, the suit says.
Shortly after the incident, police told reporters that the officers saw Wealot shooting at the van occupied by four people. Police said officers shot him after he refused the officers’ commands to stop firing at the van.
After the suit was filed Thursday, police said the department could not comment about pending litigation.
The suit seeks an unspecified amount for punitive or exemplary damages.