Wife of Paso Robles man fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies files lawsuit
–The wife of 34-year-old Josue Gallardo, who was shot and killed on Highway 101 by two San Luis Obispo County sheriff deputies in 2017, has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against Sheriff Ian Parkinson, his department, and the two deputies, according to reports.
Attorneys Justin Sterling and Erin Darling filed the suit, which alleges gross negligence and excessive force leading to Gallardo’s death.
The lawsuit, filed in Nov. 2018, states Senior Deputy Greg Roach and Deputy Jonathan Calvert stopped Gallardo’s vehicle on Jan. 24, 2017 when they recognized him as he was wanted for questioning related to an earlier domestic disturbance incident. Both officers reportedly approached Gallardo’s vehicle with their guns drawn, and at the driver’s side of the car, Calvert spoke with Gallardo and then holstered his gun. At the other side of the car, Roach began firing multiple rounds at Gallardo nearly missing Calvert, according to the reports.
“It was at this time, even though Mr. Gallardo posed no threat of harm to Deputy Calvert, Deputy Roach, or any other person, and in the absence of any legal justification for doing so, that Deputy Roach then unlawfully, improperly and maliciously shot Mr. Gallardo, discharging multiple rounds onto Mr. Gallardo,” the lawsuit says. Calvert then reportedly unholstered his gun and also began firing at Gallardo.
Following the shooting, Roach and Calvert retreated and called for backup. Multiple units arrived, and deputies found Gallardo dead inside his vehicle.
“The conduct of deputies Calvert and Roach was willful, wanton, malicious, or done with reckless disregard for the rights and safety of the decedent and therefore warrants the imposition of exemplary and punitive damages,” the lawsuit says.
Both deputies knew Gallardo was a “non-violent individual who was battling depression and suicidal ideation for some time,” according to the suit.
The suit also alleges the sheriff’s department knew or should have known that deputies Jonathan Calvert and Greg Roach “had dangerous propensities for abusing their authority and for mistreating citizens.”
In addition, the lawsuit states San Luis Obispo County has failed to provide adequate training on use of less than lethal and lethal force as well as the treatment of persons who are suspected of suffering mental illness.