Lawsuit expected in Tallulah cop killing
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2000
A wrongful death lawsuit could be filed this week in the shooting death of 23-year-old Melvin Guy at the hands of Tallulah police, an attorney for the family said Tuesday.
Also, three officers who fired weapons in the foot chase early on Thanksgiving Day have been suspended while the Louisiana State Police investigates.
Police were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Guy at his aunt’s apartment in a Tallulah public housing complex when he bolted out the back window, according to state police and family statements.
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During the pursuit that followed, shots were fired and Guy was hit in the back with what a preliminary coroner’s report identified as one round of buckshot.
“All he was doing was running,” said Samuel Thomas, a lawyer representing the Guy family. “He didn’t have a gun, he didn’t have a knife, and they took the most precious thing he had, his life.”
Guy had been evading police for about five months. He was wanted on a warrant for simple escape from the Madison Parish Jail. Other charges against him included resisting police, possession of a firearm by a felon, assault and battery, and indecency with a child.
Thomas said Larry Mahoney, identified by witnesses and family members as the person who fired the fatal shot, was an auxiliary police officer who wasn’t on duty as a policeman at the time.
“He was on duty as a fireman,” he said. “He was in his personal car, packing his personal weapon.”
Mahoney, a Tallulah firefighter who was occasionally called in by the police department as a relief officer, also will not as a police officer during the ongoing investigation of the shooting by Louisiana State Police, police Chief Earl Pinkney said.
Fire Chief Fred Washington said Mahoney was also suspended from that department pending the outcome of the investigation.
Pinkney confirmed that two other officers connected with the shooting, Marlo Brinnon and Clarence “Speedy” Hall, are also suspended until the investigation is complete.
The lawsuit, which will be brought against the City of Tallulah, Tallulah police, Mahoney and the Tallulah Fire Department, should be filed by Friday, Thomas said.
State Sen. Charles Jones, D-Monroe, is working with Thomas on the Guy lawsuit, he said.