The family of a California man killed by a sheriff’s deputy in 2016 is set to receive a $7 million settlement from Sacramento County.
The Jan. 11 settlement relates to officer James Spurgeon’s killing of Chad Irwin outside his home in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights, the Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday.
Irwin’s wife, Allison Irwin, filed the wrongful death lawsuit in 2017, alleging Spurgeon was reckless and negligent because he knew her husband was having a mental health crisis. The settlement comes despite a finding by the Sacramento County District Attorney that Spurgeon acted lawfully.
Spurgeon and another deputy responded to the Irwin’s home in August 2016 after getting a hang-up call, according to a July 2017 report from the district attorney’s office.
Allison Irwin said her husband, who had just left the house, had mixed alcohol and prescription drugs, made suicidal comments and was carrying a knife, the report said.
The deputies stayed until Irwin arrived home. They told him he was not in trouble and asked him to drop his knife, which he refused to do, the report said. He told the deputies, “‘I know what this is, you guys are going to kill me,'” the report said.
He took several steps toward the officers, prompting Spurgeon to shoot at him. He hit him seven times, the report said.
“This is not somebody that was engaged in a criminal act. This is someone who was in need of help,” Roger Dreyer, a lawyer for the Irwin family, previously told the Bee.
The settlement still needs approval from the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.