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Tampa man, shot by officer, sues city and police

TAMPA — A man shot by police after his wife called 911 to report he was suicidal is suing both the officer who shot him and the city of Tampa, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week.

In January, police responded to the call at the Tampa home of Jason Turk, a licensed real estate broker who served 11 years in the Navy. He was sitting in a car in the driveway, and police said he pointed a gun at them. Officer Tim Bergman shot Turk, then shot him a second time after Turk raised his gun again, police said.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday said officers who responded never saw Turk's gun and Bergman was not properly trained in crisis intervention. The lawsuit said police used excessive force and Turk posed no threat to officers.

"Skilled intervention, not force, was the order of the day for a successful, constitutional conclusion," according to the suit filed by Turk's attorney, Michael Maddux.

The lawsuit says the following happened that day:

Turk's wife, Amanda Turk, called 911 to report that her husband had a loaded gun and had called her to say he was going to kill himself.

When officers responded, Jason Turk's gun was in the passenger seat of the car he was in. Bergman told Turk to show police his gun. Turk thought if he did this, officers would shoot or arrest him, so he rolled down a car window to ask why.

He was shot in the head as he started to roll the window up again. Still conscious, he took a photo of his face with his iPhone and sent it to his wife with a message: "It's over."

He was shot a second time and, while still conscious, heard officers ask one another if they had seen his gun.

When she called 911 earlier that night, Amanda Turk told the dispatcher that Jason Turk had been committed under the state's Baker Act two months before and had severe depression.

Attempts to reach Maddux or a Tampa police spokeswoman late Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Tampa man, shot by officer, sues city and police 08/13/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 11:02pm]
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