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Jury finds Virginia Beach Police officer liable in man's fatal 2019 shooting

Family of man shot, killed by Virginia Beach Police files $15 million wrongful death lawsuit
Posted at 8:05 PM, Jul 28, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Earlier this week, a jury found a Virginia Beach Police officer liable in the fatal 2019 shooting of a man.

The jury ruled that Detective Bradley Colas is liable for $1 million in the shooting that left 57-year-old Jeffrey Tyree dead.

Tyree was shot and killed in February 2019 after police responded to a domestic situation at Tyree's home. Officers say he was holding a large knife, trying to hurt himself.

Police negotiated with Tyree for several hours but opened fire after he approached an officer in a threatening manner with the knife.

Tyree's family disagrees with the Commonwealth, saying he wasn't a danger and was tackled by surprise from behind.

Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate spoke to News 3 reporter Erin Miller Wednesday about the jury's decision.

“The jury has a different opinion than what the court system and the Commonwealth’s attorney and the PD in the City of Virginia Beach have and they’re entitled, but what we will do, of course, is go back and make our argument that maybe the jury didn’t exactly get it correct."

The chief added, “I think it begs us to take a fresh look at it to see if there’s any other teaching lessons that we can find and improve our organization."

Prosecutors said Colas was justified in the shooting, and he was not charged in a criminal sense.

Tyree's family filed a $15 million wrongful civil death lawsuit against Colas and another officer.