A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a Morgantown woman who was shot and killed by Monongalia County deputies in June.
Gregory Farmerie has filed the lawsuit on behalf of Christie Cathers, who deputies said attempted to run them over after a brief chase following a brandishing call. Cathers was subsequently fatally shot.
The lawsuit lists the Monongalia County Commission, two unnamed deputies, Sheriff Al Kisner, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department and the Monongalia County Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency MECCA 911 as defendants.
Farmerie, who is the administrator of Cathers’ estate, said Cathers’ husband called MECCA 911 the day before the incident to report his wife missing. Her husband told 911 operators that “this is more medical, more mental probably” when referring to his wife’s state of mind. A deputy was then dispatched to the Cathers’ home, and a missing person report was filed, according to the suit.
The suit further explains that a person who sold Cathers a cell phone and the employees of a hotel who were in contact with Cathers both described her as “seeming a little strange” or “not all there” after the missing person report was filed.
At approximately 3:15 p.m. on June 5, the suit alleges a call came into MECCA 911 advising there was a female armed with a knife getting into a gray Dodge Avenger, and that she could be under the influence. When a deputy arrived on scene, Cathers had left, and another deputy was in pursuit of her vehicle.
According to the suit, Cathers stopped her vehicle on Harner Run Road, and two deputies got out of their vehicles with guns drawn. One deputy was allegedly in front of her vehicle, and Cathers drove her vehicle around him. After she drove around the deputy, another deputy fired shots into her vehicle, which did not hit her.
Cathers continued down Finch Road, where she then pulled into a driveway and turned around, the suit alleges. Cathers attempted to go around the deputy’s car, which was heading toward her, and when she was beside the vehicle, the deputy fired three rounds into the vehicle, hitting Cathers in the elbow.
After Cathers was shot in the elbow, the suit alleges that her vehicle continued to move forward, hitting the deputy’s vehicle and causing minimal damage. At the time, the deputy exited his vehicle and fired six to seven rounds into the back of her vehicle “aiming for her seat,” according to the suit.
The suit claims that when Cathers passed the deputy’s vehicle after being shot in the elbow that she was no longer a threat to the deputy.
Cathers was shot in the back of her left shoulder and in the back of her head, which “likely killed her instantly,” according to the suit. The suit claims the deputy never tried to stop Cathers’ vehicle with less deadly force.
The suit alleges excessive force/wrongful death and negligence against the responding deputies, liability against Sheriff Kisner, the department and the county commission and negligence against MECCA 911 for not informing deputies that Cathers had mental issues.