The family of a 22-year-old man shot and killed by a Portland police officer two years ago has filed a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and the pawnshop that sold the victim a BB gun.
According to the complaint, Sgt. Nicholas Goodman, who shot Chance David Baker, had a magnifying scope on his service weapon and should have been able to see through the scope that Baker was carrying a BB gun.
“Even in the complaint one of the officers … suggested to him moments before that it looked like he was pumping it like an air rifle or BB gun,” says Hunter Tzovarras, the Bakers’ attorney.
Tzovarras says the pawn shop was “negligent” in selling the BB gun to someone who was intoxicated and in mental distress.
“Chance’s death could have been avoided, either by the pawn shop not selling him the air rifle BB gun because he was in an intoxicated state or suffering from a mental health issue, and it also could have been avoided by the police officer not shooting Chance when he did,” he says.
Goodman’s attorney declined comment on the case, and the attorney representing the pawn shop couldn’t be reached.
Baker’s mother and grandmother, Shantel and Terry Baker, filed the lawsuit in February against Goodman and the Coastal Pawn Shop; it’s now been moved to U.S. District Court.
Originally published June 6, 2019 at 4:20 p.m. ET.