The family of a 20-year-old college student who was fatally shot by Long Beach police after he took hallucinogenic drugs and jumped through a second-floor window filed a $28 million claim Wednesday against the city and police department.
“For the life of me, I cannot understand,” Feras Morad’s father, Amr, said at a news conference outside Long Beach police headquarters. “… I cannot get over it. How could this have happened to my son? It’s tearing me apart inside.”
Morad’s mother, Amal, added, “As a mother I don’t want any mom in the world to have the pain I have in my heart right now.”
Morad, a nationally ranked debater who was planning to transfer from another school to Cal State Long Beach in the fall, was shot around 7:30 p.m. May 27 in the 4600 block of East 15th Street near Pacific Coast Highway.
Family members said earlier that Morad had been studying with friends when they took hallucinogenic drugs, and after a fight ensued, Morad jumped through a second-story window.
Long Beach police said an officer and paramedics were sent to the scene, and the arriving officer saw three people in an alley. As the officer began to exit his patrol vehicle, one of the three began to walk quickly in the officer’s direction, according to the LBPD.
“He appeared to have a large cut on his body and was covered with blood,” police said.
The officer told Morad he was there to help him, but the man walked toward the officer, ignoring a command to stop so he could be treated, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
“The suspect advanced more rapidly toward the officer who perceived the suspect was now a threat and (was) going to assault him,” according to police.
“During the next few minutes, the officer utilized verbal commands, an electronic control device, an impact weapon and physical force to gain compliance but was unsuccessful,” police said.
“Ultimately, the suspect again advanced toward the officer, telling the officer he was going to attack him. At that time, an officer-involved shooting occurred,” according to the Long Beach Police Department.
The officer was later identified as Matthew Hernandez, a 12-year veteran who has been removed from field duty while the investigation into the shooting continues.
The claim is a precursor to a lawsuit.
— Wire reports
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