Man shot in his own home by Lynchburg police files $12 million federal lawsuit against officers
The man who was shot in his own home by Lynchburg police officers last year has filed a $12 million federal lawsuit against the two officers.
Officers Edward Ferron, 41, and Savannah Simmons, 22, were charged after they fired into Walker Sigler's home in February of last year while investigating an open door. Sigler, a father of three, was not armed. He was shot once and suffers from permanent injuries.
Ferron and Simmons pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless handling of a firearm in March. They were sentenced to 12 months in prison, with all 12 months suspended. They were also sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation and 100 hours of community service.
The 24 page civil complaint, filed in the US District Court Western District of Virginia Tuesday, alleges that the officers violated Sigler’s Fourth and Fourteenth amendment rights. It also alleges that the officers acted in gross negligence.
According to Sigler’s attorneys with the Lichtenstein Law Group, the front door of the Siglers’ home on Link Rd. did not always latch properly, and would sometimes open. Officers stopped that night in Feb. to investigate the door that had allegedly opened while Sigler was watching T.V.
The complaint argues that Virginia law, “does not permit, police to make a warrant-less entry into a residence simply because the front door of the residence is observed to be open.”
Sigler’s attorneys also argue that Ferron and Simmons had no basis to use deadly force.
“Mr. Sigler took no offensive action. He called out “What?” as he approached the front door. He quickly shut the front door after he peered around the edge of the door and saw the barrel of a gun,” according to the complaint. “When the door came open after he first shut it, Mr. Sigler shut it again and it stayed shut.”
The attorneys allege in the complaint that officers did not have cause to make a warrantless entry into the Sigler’s home, stating that no neighbors had called complaining about the Siglers and there were no signs of forced entry into the home.
“In short, there were no signs of trouble or of anything amiss inside or outside the Siglers’ home,” according to the complaint.
Sigler is seeking $12 million and attorney fees and costs from the defendants.
“This Complaint begins the process of seeking justice concerning these wrongful actions which have caused permanent, devastating and disabling injury to Walker Sigler and his family,” said Sigler’s attorneys in a statement released to WDBJ7.
WDBJ7 reached out to the City of Lynchburg, however the city manager said her office does not have any comment at this time.