The family of a man who was fatally shot in Anaheim Hills two years ago filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit Monday against the resident who opened fire after finding him in a parked car.
The family of Ryan Miller — who was 40 when he was shot on June 6, 2016, in the 100 block of South Eucalyptus Drive — sued Emil Shaheen in Orange County Superior Court, seeking unspecified damages.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Miller’s widow, Fe Miller, and their 2- and 4-year-old daughters, according to plaintiffs’ attorney Eric Dubin.
Shaheen shot an unarmed Ryan in the back with a shotgun as he fled, Dubin alleged.
“There’s really no justification for shooting someone in the back, especially when they are unarmed,” the attorney said. “That goes back to the Wild West.”
Efforts to reach Shaheen were not immediately successful.
Dubin maintained that Miller posed no risk to Shaheen, who did not warn him before firing. The attorney also alleges in the lawsuit that there was a delay of “several minutes” in contacting first responders.
The conflict was triggered after Shaheen found Miller “in his parked car during a suspected crime,” according to Dubin.
After the shooting, some neighbors complained they were “fed up” with “petty larceny from cars” in the area, he said. “But the value of life always trumps the value of property, and when there’s no risk of harm or danger to you or your surroundings, you can’t fire a shotgun into someone’s back.”
Shaheen was never charged in connection with the shooting, according to court records.
A message left with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office on the status of the investigation was not immediately returned.