The parents of Oscar Ramirez Jr., an unarmed man fatally shot by a deputy last year in Paramount, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Friday against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The civil lawsuit was filed shortly after 11 a.m. in federal court. The lawsuit accuses the department of negligence, excessive use of force and violating the constitutional rights of Ramirez, 28.
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A previous version of this article said the lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. It was filed in federal court.
"This man is dead and the family has lost a son and a brother," said Ron Kaye, the family's attorney. "But we hope this lawsuit will continue the road to justice and prevent future incidents like this."
Ramirez was fatally shot by a deputy on Oct. 27 on the railroad tracks that run adjacent to a public park and Paramount High School.
The department has identified the deputy as Bryan Moreno, who has been with the department for more than seven years. Moreno is named in the lawsuit.
Sheriff's Lt. Eddie Hernandez said deputies responded to the park near Rosecrans Avenue and Paramount Boulevard that day after a 12-year-old student from a nearby school told her mother she had seen two men armed with a knife and handgun.
According to Hernandez, one of the deputies saw two men who matched the description, but they ran off before he could approach them. One of the men was believed to be Ramirez, he said.
The deputy chased after the man, who investigators said kept his right arm behind his back and refused to follow instructions from the deputy.
"At one point, he removed his arm from the back in a threatening manner, and that's what caused the deputy to believe he was armed," Hernandez told The Times.
According to the civil complaint, Ramirez was shot five or six times; once in the upper left chest and four or five times in the back, including one shot to the back of the head.
The family alleges the deputy was negligent when he approached Ramirez, who they say never posed any credible threat to anyone. They say in the lawsuit that the deputy's use of force was deadly and unnecessary.
"It was daylight hours, Mr. Ramirez was wearing shorts and a T-shirt and was unarmed," the complaint read in part.
Ramirez family members told The Times they grew frustrated with the department over the lack of information on the case, including obtaining the name of the deputy.
On Dec. 19, the family filed a claim against the county in connection with the shooting.
Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's department, said the agency would not comment because it had not yet had the opportunity to review the lawsuit.
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