SAN FERNANDO VALLEY : Widow of Man Slain by Police Seeks $10 Million

A North Hills woman, whose husband was shot to death by police after he allegedly refused to drop a screwdriver he was holding to the throat of their 7-year-old son, filed a $10-million wrongful death claim against the city of Los Angeles Tuesday, calling the shooting unnecessary.

In an interview at her attorney's Encino office, Graciela Galvan gave a version of last week's shooting that conflicts with the police account. Galvan, speaking in Spanish, said her husband, Andres Jesus Espinosa, 35, was not holding their son or posing any danger when the officer shot him once in the face, killing him instantly.

"The officers said something in English, and then, in Spanish, one of them said ' deja el nino " (let the boy go)," she said. "I grabbed the boy away from my husband. He remained on the bed and told the officers ' matame, matame ' (kill me, kill me). Then the officer shot him.

Lt. William Hall, who heads the department's officer-involved shooting unit, said police stand by their account of the shooting, that Espinosa was holding the boy in a headlock and had a screwdriver to his throat when he was shot once by Officer Yehuda Packer, 33.

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