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Parents Awarded $3M in Wrongful Death Suit in Son’s Death at Hands of DEA

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The parents of an 18-year-old honor student who was shot and killed by plainclothes DEA agents in a state of confusion in southern California were awarded $3 million in a wrongful death lawsuit, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald ruled that the DEA agents were not negligent in their actions but should not have fired their weapons at Zachary Champommier’s car because it was unlikely to improve the situation.

Family members described Zachary as a harmless “band geek” who would never intentionally hurt law enforcement, the LA Times wrote.

The shooting occurred while Champommier arrived at the Studio City parking lot to meet a friend. When he saw the people detaining his friend, he hit a sheriff’s deputy with his car.

According to the suit, Champommier “had no way of knowing that these were law enforcement officers rather than criminal thugs,” and he drove his car to “escape the danger.”

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