A Compton jury Friday awarded $7.5 million to the parents of a man shot dead by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy.
According to the parents' attorney, Robert Thomas Jr. was standing outside with about 60 others at a party in Willowbrook in 2010 when two deputies pulled up.
One stopped Thomas and frisked him. Thomas then bolted, and the two deputies gave chase. A sheriff's spokesman said the deputies saw Thomas reach for a gun that was sticking out of his pocket.
Deputy Victor Lemus fired nine shots, hitting Thomas seven times and killing him, said John Sweeney, the Thomas family's attorney.
Deputies found a gun at the scene, but whom the weapon belonged to is in dispute. Sweeney said Thomas did not have a gun, and his DNA was not found on it. Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the gun was found in Thomas' pocket.