The parents of a Gaithersburg, Maryland, man shot and killed by Montgomery County police say they’ve filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county and the officers.
Four Montgomery County police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Ryan LeRoux were cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury.
LeRoux was sitting in his car in Gaithersburg last summer when the shooting occurred. On Monday, his father told News4 he’s concerned that police were not held accountable for his son’s death.
The shooting took place on July 16, 2021, after police said officers responded to a call about a customer who had ordered food but was refusing to move through the drive-thru lane at a McDonald’s about 30 miles from D.C.
The 21-year-old was in crisis and had a loaded gun in his car. His father, Paul LeRoux, then told News4 that his son was in a bad place. He had a mental health issue and had lost his job, grandmother and longtime girlfriend. Ryan LeRoux was living out of his car and had recently bought a gun legally, for his own protection.
Officers negotiated with him for half an hour. Then, when several officers say LeRoux pointed that gun at police, officers fired.
Prosecutors say that based on the body camera footage, they could not say for sure if LeRoux was holding a gun or a cellphone. So, the case went to a grand jury, which decided that the officers should not be charged.
Prosecutors say a gun and a cellphone were found in LeRoux’s lap after the shooting.
His father and activists have protested, saying police should have been able to resolve the situation without using deadly force.
A crisis negotiator was on the way but didn’t get there before the shooting happened, prosecutors say.
The grand jury heard evidence and watched hours of bodycam video before clearing the officers of wrongdoing, prosecutors say.
Montgomery County police say all four officers have been returned to full-time, active duty status and that there will be an internal investigation.
LeRoux’s family is requesting a jury trial and plans to hold a press conference Tuesday to talk about the lawsuit.
News4 reached out to Montgomery County and is awaiting comment.