BUCKEYE, Ariz. - A new court filing questions whether or not a Buckeye father was killed in self-defense on March 10.
The county attorney declined to press charges earlier in September, but a civil claim has revealed new information about the case
The family of Isidro Meza, who died in a shooting six months ago, has filed a nearly $1 million notice of claim against the Buckeye Police Department and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
The notice of claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit, alleges that several 911 calls were made in the hours prior to the shooting and law enforcement officers didn’t arrive on the scene until Meza was already dead.
The court filing against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office claims authorities didn’t respond to a heated situation soon enough to de-escalate it.
Meza died March 10 following a dispute with another man, who was arrested.
What happened during the shooting has been a mystery as reports and video haven't been released in the case since March. Now for the first time, we’re hearing accounts from two witnesses.
Evangelina Meza’s husband, Isidro, was shot outside his 199th Avenue home. She says, "It’s just heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking."
Their surveillance video captured two men walking onto Isidro's property moments before the shots.
The county attorney said the shooting of Isidro was in self-defense. But now, in a new civil notice, the family's attorney, Fabian Zazueta with Zazueta Law, says their private investigator uncovered two witnesses.
According to the civil notice, the first witness said she overheard two men talking before shots were fired. She says they " ... were trying to agree on a story so that they may kill Isidro without consequence."
Another witness claims he saw the neighbor " ... firing four shots into Isidro as he lay on the ground." The Maricopa County Attorneys Office confirmed Tuesday, Sept. 22, that Isidro was shot twice.
In the autopsy, the medical examiner claimed Isidro brandished a gun first.
The civil notice against the sheriff's office and the Buckeye Police Department claims officers didn’t respond to early 911 calls about the neighbor dispute.
"It was about an hour delay between repeated phone calls and someone arriving there and at that point, it’s already too latex. The suspect had already shot and killed the decedent in this case. Too late," Zazueta explained.
Evangelina, Isidro's wife, says justice can still come from a civil claim. "I’m not asking for nothing more than justice," she said.
Both Buckeye Police and MCSO declined to comment on Sept. 25 on the notice or the case, citing pending litigation.
The family is seeking $900,000.
A police report in this case and a camera that reportedly captured the shooting haven't been released.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.