A federal judge says he will render a verdict as soon as possible in the $14 million wrongful death suit filed by the family of a samurai sword-wielding man shot and killed by a Las Cruces Police officer.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reported the case went to U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory B. Wormuth Thursday after three days of trial.
Hummell, a 23-year-old known as “Lizard Man,” died shortly after Las Cruces police officer Horacio Rivera shot him four times with an AR-15 rifle. Rivera has said Hummell “lunged” at him and another officer.
The District Attorney’s Office cleared police of criminal wrongdoing. But a 2011 lawsuit by Hummell’s father alleged gross negligence. And a retired lawman testified police acted too quickly after Hummell made one step in their direction.
The city argued the officers acted properly, responding to deadly force with deadly force.
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