DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit mother is suing a federal agent who fatally shot her 20-year-old son while officers were serving an arrest warrant, according to a wrongful death lawsuit that attorneys filed on her behalf Thursday.
The lawsuit in federal court in Detroit names Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Mitchell Quinn as a defendant along with two Detroit police officers.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Nelda Kellom contends that a search warrant was not presented when officers entered the house and that police reports of her son Terrance Kellom’s shooting were falsified.
A fugitive apprehension team comprised of officers from several area departments found Kellom in April 2015 at his father’s west-side Detroit home.
ICE later said Kellom was wanted on armed robbery and weapons charges. The Michigan Department of Corrections website listed him as a probation absconder at the time.
Officers found him in the attic, and Kellom was shot four times after being taken to the first floor of the home.
Police have said Quinn shot Kellom after Kellom lunged at the agent with a hammer.
Kellom’s father, Kevin Kellom, and the lawsuit dispute that account. The lawsuit says Terrance Kellom “was unarmed and had his hands in the air” when he was shot four times. It also says Detroit police officer Treva Eaton then asked Quinn why he had shot.
The lawsuit also says officers falsely told people at the house they had a warrant to search it.
Eaton and officer Darell Fitzgerald also are named in the lawsuit and are accused of not preventing the shooting. The lawsuit didn’t list attorneys for Eaton and Fitzgerald.
Prosecutors ruled Quinn acted in self-defense and didn’t charge him in the killing.
“The criminal case was the first step leading to the civil lawsuit,” Quinn’s lawyer, David Griem, said Thursday.
The wrongful death lawsuit asks for a jury trial and is seeking $50 million in damages.
Kellom’s death came at a time when a national debate had erupted over police conduct, particularly toward black men. A rally and protest were held in Detroit near the house where he was shot.
Kellom was black, as is Quinn.
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