Family Sues Police in Killing of Man with Schizophrenia

April 15, 2006 - Posted at 12:18 p.m. CST

STE. GENEVIEVE (AP) _ A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by

relatives of a mentally ill man who was shot and killed during a

struggle with Ste. Genevieve police.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday against Michael Coon, the rookie

police officer involved in the November third shooting, and Scott

Lahay, the sheriff's deputy who accompanied him.

It alleges the men violated the constitutional rights of Dennis

Heberlie the Third. The 47-year-old man, who had schizophrenia, was

unarmed when he was shot during the struggle in his home. Police

had gone there after a report that Heberlie was bothering a gas

station attendant.

Coon told investigators he shot Heberlie after the man beat him

to the floor and was hovering over him. The lawsuit contends

officers had no right to be in Heberlie's home.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)