A claim against Los Angeles County has been filed on behalf of the woman who was also injured in a fatal shooting by sheriff’s detectives in Rosamond last week that killed the half-brother of a man found hanging in a tree in Palmdale’s civic center the prior week.
A legal claim is often a precursor to a lawsuit.
Shellondra Thomas was driving the SUV with Terron Boone in the passenger seat when they were confronted by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives after they pulled into the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 3400 block of 15th Street West in Rosamond where Thomas lives with her seven-year-old daughter.
Personnel from the Department’s Major Crimes Bureau were acting on a felony arrest warrant for Boone, 31, when they reportedly saw someone matching his description in the passenger seat of an SUV and sought to pull the car over at about 4:30 p.m.
According to the Sheriff’s department report, Boone got out of the SUV and fired upon detectives, who returned fire. Boone was shot multiple times in the upper body and pronounced dead at the scene.
Thomas was wounded in the chest by bullet fragments, according to the claim. She was treated at a local hospital and released.
Her seven-year-old daughter was also in the SUV, and was uninjured. However, according to the claim, she was taken into custody by the Sheriff’s Department and kept away from family for hours while being questioned.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had not seen the claim and had no response by press time Wednesday.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office responded that it does not comment on pending litigation.
The claim maintains that the tactics used by the Sheriff’s Department in pursuing and attempting to arrest Boone led to the shooting, in that the detectives were in unmarked cars and did not wear anything signifying they were law enforcement.
This took place in a “climate of fear” created by the hanging a week earlier of Boone’s half-brother, Robert Fuller, Brad Gage, the attorney representing Thomas, said Wednesday.
Fuller’s death was initially termed a suicide, because investigators did not see signs of foul play at the scene, but protesters cast doubt on the cause and called for a full investigation, which is under way.
Boone feared that Fuller may have been victim of a lynching and that other Black men could face the same fate, Gage said.
When he was followed by an unmarked car and confronted by men without any indication they were law enforcement, “Terron believed he was about to be kidnapped, beaten and then hung like his brother Robert Fuller,” the claim states.
Sheriff’s officials were acting on a felony arrest warrant generated by a complaint from detectives at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
It listed 13 counts, including false imprisonment, criminal threats, domestic abuse and assault with a handgun, stemming from incidents between June 9 and 15.
Thomas was not the subject of the threats that generated the warrant, Gage said.
Thomas and Boone were friends who had dated at one time in the past, but were not currently seeing each other, he said.
Thomas had no relationship with Fuller, Gage said.
Boone had a criminal record dating back to 2007 when he pleaded no contest to bringing a concealed knife to a school. He also was sentenced to prison for burglary in 2008, robbery in 2015 and child abuse in 2014. He was also sentenced to jail in 2012 for charges of welfare fraud, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.