Family of Woman Killed by Torrance Police Files Civil Rights Claim, Demands Answers

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Michelle Lee Shirley, who struggled with bipolar disorder, is seen in a video posted by a nonprofit organization in San Diego on March 2, 2011.

Ronnie Shirley can’t wrap his head around the many questions he has about the death of his 39-year-old daughter, who was shot and killed by Torrance police last month.

He struggles to understand why three Torrance police officers shot at his daughter, Michelle Lee Shirley, as she was driving in the city on the afternoon of Oct. 31. It was clear, he said, she had been in some type of accident before the shooting because her car was damaged and she was probably in distress.

Torrance police said they did what they had to do to prevent a larger tragedy.

“It was a losing situation by all involved, but we tried to stop that car,” said Sgt. Paul Kranke. “We didn’t want to do this.”

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