Home Wrongful Death Lawsuits Deputy shooting draws attention of high-powered attorneys

Deputy shooting draws attention of high-powered attorneys

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The District Attorney’s office says the case is still under review.

SAN DIEGO — It was a wild few moments at a strip mall in Otay Mesa last February. Deputies tried to pull a man out of a white late-model Mercedes SUV that had been reported stolen.

We see the incident on both surveillance and body-worn camera video. There’s a struggle; the SUV lurches backward, then forward.  

A deputy opens fire into the driver’s window and the Mercedes crashes into another parked car; just missing a woman sprawled on the pavement and bumping another deputy.

Neither was seriously hurt. The driver of the suspected stolen car was pulled out, given CPR but didn’t survive.

On Friday, the parents of 31-year-old Mizael Corrales appeared before news cameras in front of the San Diego County Sheriff’s headquarters in Kearny Mesa.

Jose Corrales voiced his grief, “I had to bury my own son at the cemetery! Me! The father…I shouldn’t have to do that. I been going through pain and suffering, and I just want answers!” 

He doesn’t believe his son was a threat that day and questions the deputy’s firing so many bullets into the car. 

“Why 13 times? Why’d he have to be shot on the head? Why? Why like that?” 

He is the pastor at Casa de Dios Apostolic Church in Chula Vista. He translated from Spanish for his wife.

“Por que…,” said Rosauia. “Why couldn’t they stop him in a different way? Why kill him? Why!”  

The family is working with some very successful, high-profile attorneys, having won multi-million-dollar verdicts in other wrongful death lawsuits.

Bakari Sellers announced, “We’re going to pursue justice for this family. Mr. Corrales was of no threat to anyone. He was beyond the officer; the officer could not have been in any type of fear for his life or safety. When you shoot into a vehicle, what do you create? An unguided missile.”

A jury may see the video differently, though.

Attorney John Burris was involved in the famous Rodney King case and proffered this argument. 

“Because Mizael was not complying, when he didn’t comply and took off; that became a justification for shooting? A form of street justice.” 

The family gave CBS 8 pictures of the father of three with his children, and a video of the gravesite they visit every Sunday.

The District Attorney’s office says the case is still under review. The Sheriff’s department declined comment due to pending litigation.

The Corrales parents summed up their feelings. “Yo soy… All I want is justice!” 

A claim is expected to be filed in state court next week, federal court maybe a month later.  No dollar amount is attached to either.

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