The attorney for the family of the man shot and killed by the Aurora Police Department in the early hours of July 30 said they are willing to sue the City of Aurora for access to bodycam footage and other documents.
"The family deserves immediate answers as to what occurred and why Mr. Black was tragically killed in his home protecting his family from home intruders," attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai said.
Mohamedbhai and his firm have conducted an initial investigation. Richard "Gary" Black, a 73-year-old Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, was at home with his wife Jeanette, his stepson and their two grandchildren.
The family was asleep when a naked intruder broke into the home at Montview Blvd. and East Iola St., Mohamedbhai said. The man targeted Black's 11-year-old grandson, pulling him from his bed and dragging him to the bathroom, where the intruder began choking and attempting to drown the boy.
The noise awoke Black and his stepson, who ran to the bathroom, Mohamedbhai said. The two tried to pull the intruder off the boy, and even hit him over the head with a vase, but the intruder would not let go. It was then Black, who had a concealed carry weapon permit, shot the intruder.
The Aurora Public Safety Dispatch Center received several 911 calls at approximately 1:29 a.m., Aurora Police Department said in a statement.
"While on scene officers heard gunshots fired from inside the home, and encountered an armed adult male. An officer discharged his firearm striking the armed male who was transported to the hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries," the statement read.
The 11-year-old boy was transported to the hospital. Black's wife also sustained critical injuries during the incident and is in surgery, Mohamedbhai said.
The involved officer was place on administrative reassignment with pay. The 17th Judicial District Attorney is investigating the deaths.
Black served as a lieutenant in the army during Vietnam War. In addition to the Purple Heart, Black received the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal. After he was medically discharged, Black worked as an IRS agent for the federal government.
"He unfortunately died as a hero protecting his grandson from what would have been certain death from a home intruder," Mohamedbhai said.
The shooting marked the second deadly encounter involving Aurora police in two days. On Sunday morning, officers shot and killed a man who drove toward them, hitting several of their vehicles.
"This has been an incredibly violent summer for the Aurora Police Department, and I think that the Aurora Police Department needs to examine their own policies and try to determine why there has been so much violence this summer," Mohamedbhai said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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