Man shot by cops who mistook him for burglar settles for $750KOctober 22, 2019
A South Carolina man has agreed to a $750,000 payout four years after he was paralyzed by cops who shot him in his own home after mistaking him for an armed burglar, according to reports.
Bryant Heyward had originally sued for $25 million over the 2015 shooting that left him paralyzed from the neck down and unable to feed or bathe himself, his lawyer told ABC.
He finally settled for $750,000 in the “complicated” case, his lawyer, Justin Bamberg, told the station.
“With no footage of the shooting, certain factual disputes created a proverbial he-said, he-said situation,” Bamberg said. “However, nothing changes the fact that Bryant was an innocent homeowner shot in a tragic turn of events.
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“His life changed forever, but he’s one of the fortunate ones who survived one of these bad encounters with law enforcement.”
Heyward was home alone in suburban Charleston when he called 911 to report an armed burglary. He was still holding the .40-caliber pistol that he had used in a shootout with the intruders when police arrived, according to reports.
Deputy Keith Tyner stated in his police report that he opened fire twice when a door was flung open and “a black male appeared and pointed a handgun” — unaware that the burglars had left, according to The Post and Courier.
“Wrong guy, sir. This is my house,” Heyward yelled when the bullet pierced his neck, according to the report.
The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office in 2018 determined that Tyner “acted appropriately” when he shot Heyward and declined to press charges against the deputies.
Heyward was also left with long-standing emotional issues, his lawyer said.
“I’ve had a few cases in my career that emotionally put me through the wringer, and this is one of them,” Bamberg told ABC.
“It hurts to have a young man who is in his late 20s tell you they would rather be dead because he can’t move anything below his neck.”
News of the settlement comes after a series of high-profile accidental police shootings in people’s homes.
Former Fort Worth, Texas, officer Aaron Dean, 34, was charged last Monday with the murder of Atatiana Jefferson, who was shot through a window of her home as officers responded to reports of an open door.
Earlier this month, Dallas cop Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting her unarmed black neighbor after she mistakenly entered his apartment.
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