Family of Arizona man killed in police shooting files lawsuit

The City of Phoenix, in addition to several members of the city's police department, are facing a wrongful death lawsuit as a result of an officer-involved shooting.

The deadly shooting happened on Nov. 2, 2022. According to our report at the time, someone called 911 to report that an armed man was pointing a gun at him in the area of 37th Avenue and McDowell Road. Police say they discovered multiple people carrying guns in the parking lot of a strip mall in the area, and one of them was shooting at the others. That was when officers opened fire at the alleged shooter in response.

The suspect in the incident was identified as 29-year-old Leontae Kirk. No one else was hurt in the incident.

In a critical incident briefing video on the incident, Phoenix Police officials identified an involved police sergeant as a 14-year veteran of the department, and the two police officers involved as a four-year veteran and five-year veteran of the department. All were assigned to the Maryvale/Estrella Mountain police precinct. The same video also said officers provided aid to the suspect.

Family of suspect demands justice

The 45-page complaint filed by Kirk's family names the City of Phoenix, Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan, and a handful of officers as defendants. The original dollar amount to settle was $25 million.

On Aug. 16, members of Kirk's family demanded justice outside the Federal Courthouse in Phoenix.

"Leontae had his whole life ahead of him," said Kirk's brother, Kashane Kirk. "Leontae was close to his family, and was present in his daughter's life. She has lost her father."

"[Officer] Garza sees Leontae on the ground sitting, with his hands in the air, and then fires three shots. All three shots hit leontae," said attorney Sean Woods. "At that exact same time, Officer Roy sees Leontae on the ground, backing up with his hands in the air, and fires his entire magazine. 17 bullets."

According to Woods, Leontae was carrying a gun that day, and did wave the weapon at one point, but never pulled the trigger. Woods allege the officers involved killed the wrong man, without punishment.

"The officers who shot and murdered Leontae are still on the streets," said Woods.

The Justice Department has been investigating the Phoenix Police Department over its use of force, and members of the Kirk family believe they are the latest in a long line of victims.

"My entire family is devastated. The grief we are feeling cannot be explained. All we have left [are] our memories," said Kashane Kirk, who was also Leontae's brother.

We have reached out to the Phoenix Police Department and the City of Phoenix for a response. Both entities have yet to respond.