The family of a former Marine who was killed when a SWAT team raided his Tucson-area home in 2011 has settled a lawsuit with four police agencies for $3.4 million, a newspaper reported Thursday.
Jose Guerena’s widow had filed a $20 million claim against Pima County and the towns of Marana, Sahuarita and Oro Valley, all of which had officers on the SWAT team.
It was a “calculated risk management settlement,” Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry told the Arizona Daily Star (http://bit.ly/157RiVW ).
The Pima County Regional SWAT team raided four houses on May 5, 2011, looking for items they believed could be linked to drug trafficking and home invasions.
When the team knocked open the door at the Guerena home, Jose Guerena was at the end of a hallway holding an AR-15 rifle, according to officers.
Five SWAT team officers fired 71 shots, striking him 22 times, Sheriff’s Department records show.
Vanessa Guerena’s lawsuit said the SWAT team acted negligently throughout the process, from the time the detective signed the search warrant until after the shooting, when officers waited more than an hour to give 26-year-old Jose Guerena medical treatment.
A grand jury indictment released shortly after the shooting alleges Jose Guerena and some family members were part of a drug trafficking organization, and the raid was made as part of the investigation, the Star reported.
The county attorney’s office later cleared the SWAT team officers of any wrongdoing.
In total, Pima County and its excess insurance company agreed to pay the Guerena family $2.35 million.
As part of the settlement agreement, the town of Marana will pay $720,000, Oro Valley will pay $260,000 and $100,000 will come from the town of Sahuarita.
Rick Wells is a conservative libertarian author who contributes to popular online conservative media outlets. You can follow Rick on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Rick-Wells/1405080846374047?ref=hl