PHOENIX - The widow of a murder victim is suing the City of Phoenix, Phoenix Police, and Maricopa Health Care officials for negligence, blaming them along with the suspect, for her husband's death.
Back in 2018, police say Joshua Fitzpatrick was stabbed by a homeless man who broke into their home. The City of Phoenix recently approved $2.2 million to settle its portion of the suit.
The suspect was arrested less than two minutes after Phoenix Police officers arrived on scene, but according to the lawsuit, the officers failed to immediately check on the victims, and the delay resulted in Joshua Fitzpatrick's death.
Bodycam video of the incident shows Curtis Bagley handcuffed and detained by Phoenix Police officers shortly after Katrina Smith called 911. She and her husband, Joshua Fitzpatrick, were inside their home at the time.
According to Smith's lawsuit, she was hiding in fear as Fitzpatrick lay on the floor, bleeding.
The lawsuit alleges the officers were aware that Bagley had been in a fight with one of the victims inside the house. Video shows officers remained outside, with no sense of urgency. An officer was seen blowing bubbles with his chewing gum, as the others joked with Bagley.
The lawsuit claims it wasn't until more than 22 minutes after the 911 call was made that first responders entered the home and found the victims.
Smith claims officers were negligent, and her husband could have survived his stab wounds if they found him sooner.
Maricopa County and Bagley are also defendants in the civil case. Attorneys say Bagley suffers from serious mental illness, and has been arrested three dozen times. They say the county's mental health system should have sent him to a hospital.
"Instead of that happening, they discharged him and so, had things been done properly, he wouldn't have been discharged, which could've resulted in weeks of treatment," said Joshua Mozell, attorney for Bagley.
Bagley is now receiving treatment in jail.
"He was happy to hear that they got that money, in hopes it would bring some comfort to them for the loss," said Holly Gieszl, attorney for Bagley.
Maricopa County and Bagley have not settled in this case, and the City of Phoenix refused to comment on the settlement. The civil case is scheduled to go to trial in 2021.