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Claim filed against FBI in death of alleged kidnapper in San Diego County

The sister of the San Diego County man shot to death by the FBI in the Idaho woods after allegedly kidnapping a teenage girl has filed a $20-million claim against the FBI.

San Diego lawyer C. Keith Greer, representing Lora DiMaggio, said the FBI killed her brother, James DiMaggio, without provocation.

On Aug. 10, 2013, James DiMaggio fired a shot in the air in hopes that he and 16-year-old Hannah Anderson would be rescued, but was not aiming at the FBI, Greer told the Associated Press on Thursday.

“We need to know why the officers felt like they were being targeted and to find out if they truly were in harm’s way,” he said.

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If the claim is rejected, a lawsuit will be filed in Idaho federal court, Greer said.

DiMaggio, 40, was killed a week after he allegedly kidnapped Anderson. Authorities say he had killed her mother and 8-year-old brother in the eastern San Diego County community of Boulevard.

DiMaggio was a friend of the Anderson family. Authorities say he lured the family to his home and, while Hannah was not there, killed her mother and brother and used timers to set the home ablaze.

DiMaggio then fled to Idaho with the teenager, officials say. Anderson later told authorities that he threatened to kill her if she tried to escape.

Law enforcement officials say she was the victim and played no role in DiMaggio’s crimes.

Horseback riders in the Frank Church River area of the No Return Wilderness near Cascade, Idaho, spotted DiMaggio and Anderson and alerted authorities.

An FBI rescue team arrived by helicopter; DiMaggio was struck with six bullets, according to an autopsy.

Anderson’s grandmother, Sara Britt, emailed a statement to the CBS television affiliate in San Diego on Thursday accusing DiMaggio’s sister of “looking for revenge and monetary compensation” because she was not the beneficiary of her brother’s life insurance.

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“DiMaggio brutally bludgeoned my daughter to the point they would not let me look at her or hold her after death,” Britt said in the email. “My grandson [was] burnt beyond anything but DNA confirmation.”

In response to the claim, the FBI issued a statement that, “the FBI and Department of Justice will review the claim and will respond in the appropriate manner to the parties involved. No further comments will be made at this time regarding the filing of this claim.”

Twitter: @LATsandiego


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