Family Speaks Out About Officer Involved Shooting Suspect - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Family Speaks Out About Officer Involved Shooting Suspect


By: Nicole Garcia and Kyra Jenkins

Fresno, CA -The parents of Stephen Willis, the armed suspect who was shot dead by Fresno Police officers on Saturday, held a news conference.

"Our son was a happy 23-year-old, he had his whole life ahead of him; he had a scholarship to ITT, he was top of his class, he hadn't missed one day," said Chris Willis, through his tears.

They say their son did not have a criminal background.

They say Willis was target shooting the day before, and was taking his gun from the trunk of his car when police confronted him.

"I never thought that the police shot him, it doesn't make any sense. Why would he aim a gun at officers? He hadn't done anything," said Chris Willis.

The Willis' say they don't believe Chief Dyer's account of what happened at the Stoneybrook Apartments and have hired two local attorneys.

"We have done an investigation and we are secure that there was serious wrongdoing by the police department," said Fresno Attorney Rick Berman.

"They were shooting wildly, they were shooting uncontrollably, there was no proper training or supervision... I know everybody's nerves are on edge. Everybody's nerves are raw after the terrible tragedy in Oakland. I saw the helicopters flying back after the officers' funeral, but that does not allow our officers to do something like this," said Berman.

Meanwhile the Willis' say they don't wish their tragedy on any other family.

"Nobody should have to go through this; the police are here to protect us, not to execute our children," said Chris Willis.

Attorneys are planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Fresno Police Department in the future.

They are also calling for an independent police auditor who has the power to conduct their own investigation into high profile events.

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