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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The family of a central Indiana man diagnosed with schizophrenia who was fatally shot last year by an officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging violations of the slain man’s constitutional rights.

The federal lawsuit was filed Wednesday on the one-year anniversary of 29-year-old Bradley King’s fatal shooting, The Indianapolis Star reported. It names Hendricks County commissioners, the sheriff’s department and two officers.

King was shot in his parents’ backyard near Avon, just west of Indianapolis.

Attorney Jessica A. Wegg said the family is no closer to understanding why King was killed.

“Bradley’s diagnosis should never have been the death sentence it ultimately became,” Wegg said. “Bradley was not a violent person.”

The sheriff’s department said Reserve Deputy Jason Hays shot King when he ran toward him with a knife. No criminal charges were filed against Hays in connection to the shooting.

The lawsuit alleges departmental negligence for not adequately training reserve deputies and excessive use of force.

“The officers were poorly trained and ignorant of the special needs of individuals with mental disabilities,” Wegg said. “Instead of arriving with knowledge and compassion, or at least with understanding, Deputy Hays arrived armed with his .45 Glock.”

Department spokeswoman Capt. Amanda Goings said Hays is currently active with the department.

“This is a terrible tragedy for everyone involved,” Goings said.

Wegg said the family hopes the lawsuit leads to procedural changes within the department.


Information from: The Indianapolis Star,