- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) - The city will pay nearly $2.6 million to settle a federal lawsuit over the police shooting death of a drunken Marine at a parking garage, it was announced Tuesday.

The settlement over the 2012 death of Cpl. Allan DeVillena was placed in the federal court record on Monday, said Benjamin Schonbrun, an attorney for his parents.

Trial had been scheduled to start next week.

DeVillena, 22, was killed on Nov. 10, the traditional birthday of the Marine Corps. Police said he was drunk when he tried to drive away from two bicycle-riding officers. He was shot six times after one officer dove through a passenger window of the car. His legs dangled out of the window and his gun grazed the Marine’s head.

His partner said he thought the officer had been pulled into the car and opened fire. The other officer also fired.

The lawsuit, which named the city, its police chief and the two officers, alleged that police violated DeVillena’s civil rights and used excessive force that resulted in his wrongful death.

“The parents of AJ are determined to use the unthinkable tragedy of losing their son to seek reform of police tactics in the use of deadly force so that another family does not unjustly suffer in this way,” Schonbrun said in a statement.

“It is our hope that, with litigation concluded, the city and its officers will take formal steps to acknowledge the horrible mistakes that led to this tragedy, and to ensure that policy is clarified so it never happens again,” said Aidan McGlaze, another attorney for the family.

Investigations by the Police Department and the Riverside County district attorney’s office cleared the officers of wrongdoing and they did not acknowledge any responsibility in the settlement.

Patrick Desmond, an attorney for the city, said the decision to settle the lawsuit was made by the city’s insurance company and the city stands behind the officers, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reported (https://desert.sn/1JKZOrS ).

“This was a tragic event that could have been avoided had Mr. DeVillena not placed the officers’ lives in danger,” Desmond said in a statement.

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