Jury Awards Payday To Family Of Man Shot While Actively Stabbing Officer

A jury has awarded $2.75 million to the family of Sonny Lam, who was fatally shot while stabbing an officer in 2013.

Sacramento, CA – A jury has awarded $2.75 million to the family of a man who was fatally shot by a Los Banos police officer as he was actively stabbing the officer with a pair of scissors.

According to the jury, the officer used “unreasonable force” by shooting one too many times, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

The incident took place at approximately 3 p.m. on Sep. 2, 2013, when 80-year-old Tan Lam called police to report that he had been assaulted by his 43-year-old son, Sonny Lam.

Tan’s neighbor helped him with the call, due to the fact that Tan spoke very little English.

He said he was worried about Sonny’s mental health, and said Sonny had threatened to kill him.

Los Banos Police Officer Jairo Acosta responded to the Lams’ shared residence, but was not made aware of Sonny’s purported mental health issues, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

Tan escorted Officer Acosta into a room, where the officer attempted to convince Sonny to come outside.

Sonny refused, then grabbed a pair of scissors, police said.

“[He] attacked Officer Acosta, stabbing him in his left arm,” the Los Banos Police Department said in a press release on Friday. “The Officer drew his firearm and a struggle ensued between the Officer and the suspect over the firearm.”

“Fearing for his safety, the Officer discharged his weapon twice, striking the suspect in the left leg and the chest,” the department said.

Sonny was rushed to a local hospital, but died of his injuries during surgery.

On Aug. 15, a Sacramento jury ruled that Sonny stabbed Officer Acosta with the scissors before the officer shot him in the leg, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

“But the jury was unclear as to whether the Officer was under immediate threat when he fired the second round…the round that caused the suspect’s death,” the police department said in the press release.

Because Sonny did not have ahold Officer Acosta’s gun, the jurors ruled that Officer Acosta was negligent in shooting Sonny the second time, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

They held Sonny comparatively at fault, thereby reducing the final verdict amount by 30 percent, the department said.

The agency said it fully backs Officer Acosta, who still works for the department and has been promoted to the rank of detective since the attack occurred, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

“All life is valuable and the use of deadly force is never taken lightly,” the Los Banos Police Department said in the press release. “But we respectfully disagree with the verdict and stand by Officer Acosta and believe that he acted in self-defense in his use of lethal force during a sequence of events that lasted less than a minute.”

The department said it will appeal the verdict.

48 Responses

  • LEO0301

    Sep 2, 2018

    Insane verdict but it is California after all.

  • MariaHasLEOSon

    Sep 2, 2018

    I clicked on the link to see if maybe the verdict had been appealed; however, the tag Sacramento, CA told me all I needed to know. And glad to note that the verdict IS being appealed.

  • walkintall

    Sep 2, 2018

    There's just no way to figure some juries. No way.

  • RCK

    Sep 2, 2018

    Excise California from the Union ... the whole damned place! They are an unwashed a$$!

  • Logic Required

    Sep 2, 2018

    Just rediculous, id like to see any of the jurors in his position and then let’s see what they consider unreasonable

  • Saint777

    Sep 2, 2018


  • angeleyes

    Sep 2, 2018

    Crazy, crazy, crazy. TG his family got money, more then he would ever make in his lifetime, more than most everyone would make. I hope the department does appeal the verdict and wins. It's california, so their laws are different. I think it should secede from the US, give it back to illegals, thugs and politicians. Let it become what it wants, which is to be a sanctuary city. Then let it, but all the citizens have to agree to stay there and not come to the real US. No more federal, state or city monies anymore. Can we vote on this?

  • Just-My-Thoughts

    Sep 3, 2018

    Kaching,, Kaching.........the winner is................the stabbers family !!!!!!! Who would have thought........

  • NTPD935Ret

    Sep 3, 2018

    OMG! It must be something in the water because all of the people in California are nuts! But I think I have the jury logic figured out... suspect gets a stab, Officer gets a shot then the suspect was suppose to get his turn and get a stab! The officer cheated by taking his shot out of turn, thus $2.75 million for not playing fair! “It’s not fair!”, the jury whined. The worst part of this is that the f’in judge did not throw out the jury’s verdict. What a bazaar land California has turned into. Can we get a law barring any Californians from moving out of that state and carrying this disease out of their state? This has to be a public health issue.

  • DeeBlue

    Sep 3, 2018

    This is insane, even the jury it’s agains law enforcement

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