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Las Vegas valley woman sues police, says she was shot 7 times by officer

Police say she was acting erratically
Posted at 6:39 PM, Nov 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 00:21:27-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas valley woman claims she was shot seven times by police officers.

Sommer Richards’ defense lawyers say she was disoriented and was dragging a snow shovel at the time of the incident. Police say she was acting erratically while holding that shovel before officers opened fire.

It’s been well over a year since her encounter with police, which her family says resulted in Richards getting shot.

“I couldn’t believe it was happening. I’ve never resisted,” Richards said.

Police say when officer responded to a call in May 2018, Richards was suffering a psychological episode and had reportedly swung a shovel at two people.

“I picked up the shovel for no intention of basically, regarding a weapon. It was intention for yard work,” she said.

She’s now suing Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Ondre Wills in civil court. Wills is the former officer who fired the shots.

The family is seeking $7 million -- $1 million for each of seven shots her attorneys say struck her.

Wills resigned from the force two months after the incident. Richards says her injuries from the shooting have made life difficult.

“I cannot lift any more than three pounds without pain, or basically having some sort of medical problem,” she said.

Richards’ attorneys say Wills disregarded policy when he fired the shots, and that he should have assessed the situation after firing the first three shots.

“It should be common knowledge that you don’t shoot somebody seven times when you’re dragging a snow shovel,” Attorney E. Brent Bryson said. "Doesn't make any sense."

Richards plead guilty to one count of assault with a deadly weapon in criminal court with an Alford plea, which is admitting that prosecutors had the evidence to convince a jury, but she maintained her innocence.

Richards says she just wants accountability for the shooting.

“If it’s three shots and they’re supposed to check.., I’d like them to be held responsible, Richards said.

LVMPD says it can’t comment on pending litigation.