GRANDVIEW, Mo. – The family of a man killed by a Grandview police officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two of the department’s officers.
Jessie San Nicolas regrets ever calling 911 for help on July 1, 2018. Her husband, Larry San Nicolas, was diabetic and was acting erratically without his insulin.
“I just wanted help, and now he’s not here,” she said. “If I didn’t do that, he’d be alive.”
It’s a call San Nicolas said she had made once before, only this time it ended tragically.
“It was so fast,” she said. “We watched it all.”
San Nicolas said officers used SWAT team tactics to lure her husband out of the home, where the 60-year-old was inside alone. Once outside, Larry was seen carrying decorative swords and advanced at officers.
“They were trained on the house like they were coming for a drug bust or something,” his wife said of the police.
Larry was hit with three bean bag rounds before another officer fatally shot him.
In a wrongful death lawsuit filed on the anniversary of Larry’s death, a lawyer for the San Nicolas family accuses two officers, David Gutierrez and Travis Richardson, of using excessive force.
“They used the bean bag round and it was working,” said David Smith of the Smith Lawrence Law Firm. “He was a step away from falling down.”
Smith said both officers demonstrated a disregard for Larry’s safety.
“They could’ve waited it out,” he said. “They were told that Larry was in his house by himself. They were told that he was an insulin-dependent diabetic that was off his insulin.”
The City of Grandview released the following statement in response to the lawsuit:
“The quickly unfolding events of July 1, 2018 ended tragically. The Grandview Police Department requested and fully cooperated with the investigation conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. While the Jackson County Prosecutor cleared our officers of any wrongdoing, we know this does little to comfort the San Nicolas family. Again, we offer our sympathies to all affected.”
While the victim’s wife lives with the guilt of her husband’s death, she tries to remember the good times the couple shared for nearly 27 years.
“He was the best, the strongest and most loving person that I’ve ever met,” she said. “We love and miss him every day.”
The San Nicolas family is seeking an unspecified amount in damages and wants a trial by jury.