In a bizarre and tragic turn of events, an off-duty San Diego police officer was involved in a fight with his own brother that turned deadly, according to reports. The Chula Vista man allegedly shot his brother at his home in the Parkwoods Condominiums on Center Street.
The story of that violent evening is still being pieced together, but so far officials believe that the deceased brother became violent towards his mother. The off-duty officer intervened between his mother and brother to prevent his parent from being injured.
The officer was stabbed four times. He was found bleeding in the complex parking lot. He was rushed to an area hospital and is expected to survive.
The brother was found inside the family home suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He is said to have a history of mental illness and his family was apparently attempting to get help for him.
At this point, the police believe that the officer acted in self-defense.
It is relatively common for a person to be sued if he or she kills someone else, even if the death is deemed to be in self-defense or accidental. This is because there is a difference between criminal and civil liability, although many people are confused by this distinction.
When one person takes another person’s life, it may be due to accidental causes or it may be intentional. If it is intentional, it may be justified as with self-defense or it may be criminal, as with homicide or manslaughter. Ultimately, it is up to a jury in a criminal trial to determine if the accused person is guilty of a crime or if the killing was justified.
If the death is deemed accidental, a person can still be guilty of negligence. If that is the case, the victim’s family may be entitled to damages. This may be the case even if the victim was partially at fault in the situation.
In California, the survivors of a fatal accident victim may be entitled to collect partial compensation for the death under the comparative negligence rule. This means that a victim or the survivors of the victim may collect damages in the degree to which the jury determines the other party at fault. Simply put, if the jury finds that the victim was 20 percent responsible for his or her own injuries, the victim would collect 80 percent of the total amount of the award.
If you have questions about any type of injury or accident claim, contact Dan Gilleon, a personal injury attorney in San Diego. Mr. Gilleon has years of experience helping victims with all types of injury claims. Contact him today for a free consultation.