A Japanese American widow who was cowered behind her 86-year old husband as sheriff deputies shot him in their home has filed a wrongful death suit against the Santa Clara County in California’s Silicon Valley.
In court papers obtained by AsAmNews, 90-year-old Harue Craig accuses Deputy Douglas Ulrich of using excessive force and causing emotional distress when he broke down the door to the couples home to conduct a welfare check and “unjustly shot and killed” her husband Eugene.
Ulrich broke down the door after receiving no response when he knocked.
Fearing that an intruder had entered the home, Harue hid behind her husband as he armed himself with a handgun.
“Decedent and plaintiff were peacefully enjoying their residence, posing no risk of harm to anyone, when deputies, including defendant Ulrich (who was also named in the suit), broke into their home” and “Ulrich shot decedent in his torso multiple times, resulting in death.”
The county said it could not comment on pending litigation.
A neighbor who was on hand during the incident this past September told NBC Bay Area the situation could have been avoided.
“All they had to do was let me in the house,” said Ronnie Roberts. “I could have got to the door. I could have called him. I could have done anything, but they wouldn’t let me do anything.”
Craig is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
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