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Wrongful death lawsuit filed in Fountain teen’s death

A wrongful death lawsuit filed in district court in Denver reveals new information about the death of a Fountain teenager.

Patrick O’Grady, 17, was shot and killed by Fountain police officer Johnathan Kay in September 2015.

At the time of the incident, officer Kay said O’Grady pointed a gun at him, which led him to shoot O’Grady. In December, the El Paso County Sheriff’s office found Kay’s actions were justified.

The mother, Elizabeth Alvar filed a lawsuit on March 4. In the lawsuit, Alvar claims her son was unarmed at the time of his death.

“Ms. Alvar witnessed the incident and did not see a gun in the bathroom. She did not see him reach for a gun. She did not see him point a gun at officer Kay and she did witness officer Kay shoot her son,” said Michael Thomson, attorney.

Officer Kay was in the home after responding to reports of a disturbance. Reports reveal Alvar called 911 after discovering an unknown individual in her garage attempting to steal a motorcycle. Alvar chased the individual out of her garage. After the chase, Alvar returned home to find her son in the house.

The lawsuit reveals O’Grady went upstairs to take a shower when officer Kay arrived. Alvar opened the bathroom door and found O’Grady in the bathroom preparing to get into the shower. Officer Kay directed O’Grady to get dressed.

The lawsuit claims Officer Kay pushed and O’Grady pulled on the door several times before closing the bathroom door. Once O’Grady closed the door, Officer Kay allegedly drew his weapon and fired one shot through the closed bathroom door. After firing the shot, Officer Kay opened the door to find O’Grady lying naked on the floor with his head against the bathtub.

“Patrick was shot and the bullet was in the back of his head. There’s some issues how low the bullet went through the door and what position Patrick must have been in for it to go through the back of his head,” said Thomson.

The lawsuit also alleges that after the shooting, four officers were called to the residence but only one of those four officers were able to locate a gun in the bathroom.

Officer Jose Barraza was the fourth officer to enter the bathroom after the shooting. The lawsuit reveals when Barraza entered he located a black Glock Model 27 handgun positioned behind the door of the bathroom, close to where O’Grady’s hand was lying on the floor.

The mother claims officers planted the gun near the body.

“The gun that was found in the bathroom was owned by an El Paso County deputy, that’s according to police reports,” said Thomson.

Alvar is also suing Officer Kay for excessive force. The lawsuit reads, “The level of force used by defendant Kay against O’Grady was not objectively reasonable in light of the totality of the circumstances presented by the situation.”

“There’s a whole bunch of things that haven’t been disclosed that will have to be now that there’s a lawsuit,” said Chris Koupal, attorney.

Attorneys in the case say they’ll continue to fight.

“It could easily go to a trial or in front of a jury for a decision,” said Koupal.

The defendants will have 21 days to respond. The Fountain Police Department isn’t commenting because it’s an ongoing investigation.

Kay was wearing a body camera, but it was not turned on.

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