The mother of 18-year-old filed a lawsuit Friday asking for $10 million in damages in the fatal shooting of her son by off-duty officers in Studio City last June 24.
The 32-page filing (which is attached in the PDF area next to the photos), was filed by Carol Champommier, of Northridge, who claims her unarmed son "was sitting in a parked vehicle waiting to meet a friend when he observed the undercover defendants' agents and officers detain the [friend]," according to the document. When he began driving the car out of the lot, "they fired on him without probable cause and/or warning. Several bullets struck the vehicle and the decedent, killing him instantly," the document says. Carol Champommier has declined to comment on the case.
The lawsuit, filed by Beverly Hills attorney Gary A. Dordick, was filed against both the city and county of Los Angeles as well as unspecified Drug Enforcement Administration agents, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies and Los Angeles Police Department officers. Michele Leonhart is the only person named, in her position as administrator of the DEA.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office completed its review of the shooting, which occurred in the 12100 block of Ventura Boulevard, in the parking lot behind . The site has been the scene of by friends and family of the dead teen.
The officers involved were sheriff's Deputy Mark Brewster and DEA Agent Peter LoPresti. The DA's investigative Justice System Integrity Division concluded that the DA's office "will not file criminal charges against these officers because they acted in lawful self-defense," according to the report.
The analysis was based on reports prepared by sheriff's Sgts. Sandy Nava and Don Walls. Deputy District Attorney Shelly Torealba and Senior Investigator Brandon Lenhart were assigned to the case.
After voluntary statements from Brewster and LoPresti, a walk-through and debriefing proved the officers were in fear for their lives when they used deadly force against Champommier, according to the report. The 18-year-old was the driver of the vehicle that struck Brewster, hitting him and causing him to roll from the hood to the ground, the report said. In rendering assistance to a fellow officer, both LoPresti and Brewster fired six rounds at the accelerating car, the report said.
According to reports, Champommier was in the parking lot meeting someone whom he'd met on the Internet days before. Police said that person, Douglas Oeters, looked as if he was casing vehicles in the parking lot when LAPD Officer Joseph Chavez approached him. According to police, Oeters became immediately combative and shoved Chavez, according to the DA's report. Brewster was assisting Chavez when he was hit by Champommier's car, the report said. Chavez reportedly was not involved in the shooting that followed.
LAPD Media Relations Officer Cleon Joseph said the LAPD was not involved in the shooting and added, "We do not have any information on that incident."
Dr. Ogbonna Chinwah released an autopsy report from the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office that said, "Champommier's death was due to the gunshot wound to his upper left arm that passed through his heart and lungs before exiting his upper right arm."
The lawsuit filed by the mother claimed the shooting was "wilful, reckless, malicious, deliberately indifferent to Decedent's rights, done with actual malice, grossly negligent and objectively unreasonable." The case claims that damages will exceed $10 million.
(See videos made by friends of Zachary, as well as scenes of past protests, and also the court documents filed last Friday in the photo gallery above.)