Man Shot by Off-Duty Officer Files Lawsuit

An Ontario man who was wounded by an off-duty Los Angeles police officer early Friday after a fight outside a Rowland Heights hamburger stand has filed a $10-million federal lawsuit against the officer, the LAPD and other city officials.

The suit was filed Tuesday morning by a lawyer for 23-year-old Raymond Tapia, who remains at Whittier Medical Center after emergency surgery over the weekend. It names Officer Salvador Silva, a two-year veteran who works as a patrol officer in the LAPD's Van Nuys station, as well as Police Chief Daryl F. Gates, Mayor Tom Bradley, the City Council and the Police Commission.

The suit claims that Silva "cold-bloodedly shot" Tapia after Tapia and a friend attempted to break up a fight between the officer and two women. Tapia's lawyer said that Silva never identified himself as a police officer and left the scene after the shooting.

However, sheriff's deputies who investigated the case dispute that account, saying that Silva identified himself as a police officer and only fired his weapon after Tapia reached for the gun.

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