A Chicago police officer who fatally shot 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier is filing a $10 million counter lawsuit against the teenage victim’s family.
In the suit, which was filed last week, Officer Robert Rialmo claims that he feared for his life during the shooting and suffered “extreme emotional trauma,” reports the Chicago Tribune.
"The fact that LeGrier's actions ... forced Officer Rialmo to end LeGrier's life, and to accidentally take the innocent life of Bettie Jones, has caused, and will continue to cause, Officer Rialmo to suffer extreme emotional trauma," the lawsuit reads.
Police were called to LeGrier’s home the evening of December 26. According to the victim’s father, LeGrier was behaving erratically—he was reportedly suffering from a mental illness since enrolling in college—and required assistance restraining him.
According to Rialmo’s lawsuit, LeGrier emerged from his room swinging a metal baseball bat. Rialmo claims that he opened fire after LeGrier swung at his head. He shot at the teen eight times. LeGrier’s 55-year-old neighbor, Bettie Jones, was also fatally struck during the gunfire. An autopsy shows that LeGrier was shot in the back, the buttock, his chest and his arms.
Shortly after the shooting, LeGrier’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the department. On Friday, Rialmo, who has been on paid administrative duty, filed the $10 million countersuit.
“After this coward shot a teenager in the back…he has the temerity to sue him?” LeGrier family lawyer Basileios Foutris said to the Tribune. “That’s a new low for the Chicago Police Department.”