GREELEY, Colo. -- The family of Rueben Reyes filed a notice of claim to the Greeley and Evans police departments and the Weld County Sheriff’s Office. The notice tells the agencies the Reyes family may sue the agencies for gross negligence, use of unreasonable or excessive force and failure to act.
Reyes was shot by an Evans police officer after Reyes he grabbed Weld County Sheriff's Deputy Sam Brownlee's gun and shot Brownlee three times, officials said. Reyes and Brownlee both died.
The shooting happened after a police chase from Fort Morgan to Evans.
Reyes' girlfriend called Fort Morgan police and said Reyes had stolen her car on Nov. 23. Officers said they tried to stop Reyes a few minutes later, but he refused to stop and sped off.
A report on the incident said officers from several different jurisdictions chased Reyes over the next 90 minutes until he stopped in a subdivision in Evans.
The report said Reyes refused orders to get out of his vehicle and to show his hands. One officer said he hit Reyes with a Taser inside the car but it was ineffective.
Brownlee pulled Reyes out of the car, but Reyes struggled with the deputies and officers, before getting Brownlee's gun and shooting him, the report said.
The notice of claim said the Reyes estate has conducted its own independent investigation and interviews.
The notice also said lethal force should not have been used upon Reyes and that Reyes "laid alive, face down, and handcuffed at the scene, in a pool of his own blood... unaided and untreated for a significant period of time before any paramedics arrived."
Reyes died at the hospital from from blood loss and organ failure from the shooting and absence of any first aid, CPR, or other mitigating life saving maneuvers, lawyers said in the notice.
The notice asks for $250,000 plus punitive or exemplary damages for Reyes’ spouse, their 1-year-old son and Reyes' mother. The notice does not say if the woman named as Reyes' spouse is the same woman who told Fort Morgan police that her boyfriend had stolen her car.