- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The parents of a teen who was fatally shot by a state trooper are suing the trooper and the state police.

The parents of 18-year-old Timothy Hill say the shooting was malicious and done with reckless disregard of their son’s rights, reported the Charleston Gazette Mail (http://bit.ly/1Mgtena).

Attorneys for Michelle and Robert Hill Jr. filed the complaint Tuesday in Kanawha Circuit Court. The parents are alleging wrongful death, civil rights violations and unlawful arrest in their lawsuit against the trooper and state police.

Timothy Hill was unarmed when Senior Trooper B.D. Gillespie shot and killed him on June 13, 2014, following a brief struggle at the foot of Timothy Hill’s driveway in Kegley. During the struggle, Gillespie pepper-sprayed Timothy Hill and hit him with a baton before they both stumbled into of a ditch where Gillespie said Timothy Hill reached for the trooper’s gun. Gillespie then shot him twice.

“It’s difficult to imagine any circumstances where an unarmed teenager, who had not committed a crime, would be shot by a police officer not once but twice, resulting in his death,” said Robert Berthold Jr., an attorney for the Hills.

The incident that spurred the confrontation leading to Hill’s shooting concerned some wet underwear that two other boys had thrown onto Gillespie’s police cruiser as a prank after they went swimming. According to the text of the lawsuit, Gillespie’s wife discovered the underwear on the cruiser and told her husband about it. The trooper decided to investigate, and at 1:30 a.m. found the group of boys that included Timothy Hill.

Following an investigation into the shooting, a Mercer County grand jury decided not to indict Gillespie on any charges. Earlier this year, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed its Civil Rights Division was reviewing the case.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.

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