Family plans to sue JSO for killing relative

Officer shot killed 32-year-old who police say refused commands

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Thomas McMullen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The family of a man killed by a Jacksonville police officer last week is speaking out, giving their side of the story.

Thomas McMullen's loved ones are talking to a lawyer and are planning to sue the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for wrongful death.

Detectives say an officer shot and killed McMullen in Northwest Jacksonville last week after a car chase and then foot pursuit. Many officers said they saw him with a gun and told him to come out and comply several times before one of the officers opened fire.

Police said a gun was found several yards away from the building McMullen was hiding under when he was shot.

McMullen's family said they believe police were wrong to shoot him, and he posed no threat to them.

They said McMullen ran from them because he was scared but never tried to hurt the officers.

McMullen's mother said she won't stop until she gets justice.

"My son is being portrayed as a monster," Juanita McMullen said. "(JSO) executed my son, and I want the public to know this. He surrendered to him and they killed him. And I just want this to be known in public. ... Why did y'all shoot up under the house? The officer that killed him is a 21-year veteran. You didn't follow protocol. Why did you have to shoot him under the house, unarmed?"

McMullen served 14 years in prison for the death of a corrections officer in a 1993 robbery. He was not the trigger man, but his family said he was reformed and served the time he had been sentenced to.

There's no word yet on when they'll officially file suit against JSO. In the meantime, the agency will review the shooting and see if it was justifiable.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave.

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