A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Phoenix Police Department is on the defensive after a September 2008 incident that led a Phoenix homeowner to sue the city and police department. Tony Arambula is seeking $5.75 million in damages for himself and his family after he was shot six times by police on September 17, 2008, after officers responded to a call about an intruder inside his central Phoenix home.

Phoenix Police Spokesperson Tommy Thompson said in a press release this week that officers responded to a call at Arambula's Phoenix home, but "after entering the residence, one of the officers mistakenly shot the armed home owner." Arambula now alleges while at his home that night, officers conspired to cover up the mistake. Michael Manning, Arambula's attorney, said the 911 tape helps prove the claim. "The sergeant says, 'don't worry about it, I got your back,'" said Manning.

The press release from Phoenix police goes on to say that the "department has been honest and forthright from the very onset of this incident. No attempt has been made to conceal the truth or the facts surrounding it." Thompson acknowledges Arambula's lawsuit in the release and says his department will not be making any further statements as the litigation process takes its course. The claim, filed by Manning on behalf of Arambula, names the city, its police department, the officer who shot Arambula and two other officers.

The night of the shooting, Arambula said an intruder had broken into his home. Arambula called 911 and told police he was holding the intruder at gunpoint. As officers arrived, Arambula's wife Lesley said she told them her husband was inside the house holding a gun on the intruder. "I told them my husband was inside, he was the one with the gun," she said Tuesday.

The officers entered the house with a shout of "Police!" Almost immediately afterward, Phoenix police Officer Brian Lilly shot Arambula in the back. Three more shots were fired at Arambula, one hitting him in the arm.

The claim said that when Arambula fell to the floor, Lilly shot him two more times. That's when Arambula told Lilly he'd shot the wrong man. In his Internal Affairs interview, Lilly admitted firing at Arambula without any verbal warning, according to the claim. Arambula said he did everything he was supposed to do in that situation. "I would have loved if they would have told me to get on the floor and drop to my knees," Arambula said. "To not have given me any opportunity to not get shot, it's confusing. I pray that this never happens to another family."


Anonymous Justthisguy said...

I'll bet you (or would, if I had any money) that Officer Lilly doesn't own a comb. What used to be known as a convict haircut is right fashionable now among the kind of LEOs which I hope God will preserve me from ever having to meet.

P.s. I'm Orthonym at The High Road.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean to tell me that cops lie? No, not possible... Not every cop is a crook, but, there are enough bad cops out there that the good ones should be doing more to stop them.

Folks, don't EVER tell a cop anything other than "I want my lawyer!". Sad and as defensive as this sounds, its all we got protecting us these days.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Robert Langham said...

Let the chips fall as they may.

10:37 AM  
Blogger SpeakerTweaker said...

Don't one of those Four Rules thingies say something about knowing your target?

I coulda sworn...

I'm glad the victim (twice over, unfortunately) lived to tell about it. Best wishes to him.


3:07 PM  
Blogger Mark Horning said...

It's one thing to screw up. Everyone screws up. The attempt at a coverup (caught on the 911 tape) on the other hand, is going to COST.

That's the kind of arrogance a plaintiff's lawyer dreams about dragging in front of a jury.

4:14 PM  
Blogger mikeb302000 said...

Officer Lilly made two big mistakes. The first one was the worst, the wrongful shooting, the second, trying to cover it up, was small potatoes by comparison. The attempted cover up does lend credence to the wrongful shooting theory.

12:16 AM  
Blogger JAFO said...

so being bald is a onvct haircut?

Thanks Ortho- it's a good thing you don't stereotype or anything...

4:25 PM  
Blogger Ed Skinner said...

I'm a Phoenix resident who is capable of defending my home. In such an incident, this could well be me.

I do two things to counteract it. First, I wear my hair long (like a sedated hippie) and, in my wallet and just behind my Concealed Weapon card is the one from my attorney.

But neither would likely have helped keep this other Phoenix homeowner from being shot. The cops screwed up.

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Stranger said...

Well, srsly, survey say 11% of police shootings are "in error."

And equally srsly, survey say 2% of citizen "self defense" shootings are "in error."

Yet, some police tell us they are the only ones who should have guns.


12:54 PM  
Blogger Justthisguy said...

Wait! Phoenix? Ain't that in Maricopa County? I think what we have here is a case of psychic influence, by virtue of dangerous-lunatic vibes emanating from Joe Arpaio.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Chris P. Bacon said...

The homeowner is soon to be a very rich man. Too bad he had to be shot by an over zealous "hot dog" cop! What an idiot!

Chris P. Bacon

4:03 AM  

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