Gurley and Ballinger were leaving Ballinger's apartment the night of November 20 when the couple opted to take the building's stairs instead of the elevator. Upon entering the dark stairway, Officer Peter Liang, who was patrolling the area with his gun drawn, immediately fired, fatally wounding Gurley. No words were exchanged.
"There was no justification for this police officer having his gun out of the holster, in his hand and his finger on or near the trigger, so this shooting recklessly occurred," said Scot Rynecki, Ballinger's lawyer, to the Daily News.
Ballinger is seeking $50 million in damages on behalf of herself and her 2-year-old daughter with Gurley. She filed a notice of claim yesterday against Liang, Landau, the NYPD and the city of New York. She also filed a claim against the New York City housing authority, citing that proper lighting in the stairwell could have helped prevent Gurley's death.
The city, claiming that the shooting was a "tragic accident," is reviewing the case.