VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A jury has found a Virginia Beach police officer liable in the fatal shooting of a 57-year-old man in 2019.
Body camera video captured the shooting of 57-year-old Jeffrey Tyree back in February of 2019.
Officers were originally called to Paiute Road regarding a report of a man, Tyree, trying to harm himself with the knife in the Arrowhead neighborhood, off Newtown Road.
During several hours of negotiations, police said Tyree picked up the knife and approached one of the officers in a “threatening manner.” Another officer, Bradley Colas, fatally shot Tyree.
Later that year, Tyree’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Virginia Beach Police Department.
The lawsuit sought up to $15 million in damages, or an appropriate amount to be determined by a jury, but the family said it wasn’t money they wanted — it was accountability.
The family said that Tyree was a threat to himself, but not to police.
The family said Tyree was in a mental health crisis that developed after the loss of his wife and the ailing health of his mother.
They called the officers’ conduct reckless, unreasonable and unjustified.
During a hearing Monday, a jury found Colas liable for the shooting and wrongful death of Tyree. A counsel for Tyree’s family told 10 On Your Side Colas is currently a detective with the Virginia Beach police.
Following the verdict, the jury ruled for Tyree’s family to be awarded $1 million.
Virginia Beach police reaffirm that Colas was justified in the shooting.
After the jury’s decision, the City of Virginia Beach also released a statement.
“We respectfully disagree with the jury’s result. Detective Colas had justification for firing the single shot that day, as was supported by evidence. There was not one witness who testified anything to the contrary. We do plan to ask for the verdict to be set aside,” Virginia Beach Deputy City Attorney Chris Boynton said.