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Jury: Officer liable in 2019 fatal shooting

July 28, 2021 GMT

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A civil court jury found a Virginia Beach police officer liable in the fatal shooting of a man in a 2019 backyard standoff Monday and awarded $1 million to the man’s family, news outlets report.

The family of 57-year-old Jeffrey Tyree sued Detective Bradley Colas, the officer who shot Tyree, and another officer who tackled Tyree. The judge ruled there wasn’t enough evidence against the second officer.

Officers responded to a report of a man, Tyree, trying to harm himself and police said Tyree was shot after he picked up a knife and approached an officer in a “threatening manner.” Police and prosecutors determined the shooting was justified.

Tim Tyree, one of Jeffrey’s brothers, said the family was grateful for the decision.

“We feel like the truth finally came out and we finally got justice for Jeff,” Tim Tyree said. “It feels great.”

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The city, which is liable for the jury award, will challenge the verdict and appeal if necessary, Deputy City Attorney Christopher Boynton said. Colas, who’s still a Virginia Beach police officer, has the department’s full support, Boynton said.

“The department supports him 100% and the City of Virginia Beach supports him 100%,” Boynton said. “His job with us is safe.”