The family of an elderly man who was fatally shot by a police officer last fall has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Police Department, the officer and the city.
The suit, which was filed Monday on behalf of Theodore Franks' children and grandchildren, says that Officer Dean Michaels and the Police Department are to blame for the death of Franks, who was unarmed.
Neither police nor city officials could be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Franks was shot after police responded to a break-in call at Tolemar Manufacturing on Lorge Circle at 4:30 a.m. Sept. 11.
Franks, who lived in Sylmar, often spent the night at the office to avoid the long drive home to the San Fernando Valley.
Officers noticed that the backdoor was ajar and then saw a figure, Franks, standing in the hallway, according to the suit.
The suit alleges that Michaels "panicked," shooting Franks at near point-blank range in the left leg.
It took nearly two hours for Franks to be transported to a hospital, and he bled to death, according to the suit.
The Orange County district attorney's office and the Sheriff's Department concluded that Michaels should not be charged with a crime.
The family is seeking payment for all medical care for Franks and other members of the family subsequent to the shooting, attorneys' fees, and damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress, to be determined at the trial.