The common-law wife of a man killed by two Colorado Springs police officers in a hail of gunfire last year has filed a $950,000 claim against the city.
The claim, filed on behalf of the estate of Robert Kresky, who died after he was shot 14 times in December 2012, alleges officers gunned him down while he was running.
“Mr. Kresky was an unarmed, non-dangerous fleeing suspect and posed no threat of death or serious physical injury to officers or others,” the claim states.
The assertion contradicts findings of an investigation by the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, which ruled in March that officers were justified in shooting Kresky, who allegedly led a criminal organization with “significant ties” to Mexican drug traffickers.
Kresky, 23, fled from police about 1 a.m. Dec. 4 after officers received a report of a shooting on Tail Spin Drive on the city’s southeast side, according to the DA’s report. During the 9.1-mile pursuit, Kresky, driving a stolen vehicle, ran through stop lights and stop signs, the report states.
When police cornered Kresky downtown near East Bijou Street and Kiowa Avenue, he got out of the vehicle and ran, the report states.
Kresky refused officers’ commands to stop and show his hands, the report states.
“(Expletive), I’ll shoot you!” Kresky yelled at officers while running with his right hand in his waistband, the report states.
When the foot pursuit ended in an unlit parking lot, Kresky told police he had a gun and continued to make threats, the report states. Officers believed he was going to shoot and opened fire.
Kresky refused to show his hands even after police fired the first round of shots, the report states. Police opened fire again when it appeared Kresky was reaching for something in his waistband, the report states.
The claim, however, alleges an officer shot at Kresky while he was running.
The claim was filed in April by attorneys Terry Rector and Carl West of the Colorado Springs-based Rector Law Firm. Neither returned calls for comment Monday or Tuesday.
The claimants are Rachelle McDermed, Kresky’s common-law wife, and his young son, Bentley Jeremiah Kresky.
The claim was addressed to the city of Colorado Springs, City Attorney Chris Melcher, Mayor Steve Back and police Chief Pete Carey.
The claim was initially filed by the McDivitt Law Firm for $500,000.
Durant Davidson, an attorney with the McDivitt Law Firm, said the firm is no longer involved.
“Once we got the full coroner’s report and the investigative reports through the DA’s office, we determined that there was not a case that we wanted to pursue there,” he said.