The family of a man killed by Knox County deputies last summer in a standoff that also left one officer seriously injured has sued the county, the Sheriff's Office and a number of officials in federal court.
The wrongful death lawsuit, filed Sunday, says authorities violated Jordan Camp's civil rights when they surrounded and entered a West Knox County mobile home where he was barricaded, and then shot and killed him.
The 20-page complaint names Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones, nine deputies who were on the scene at the time, the Sheriff's Office and the county as defendants.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages tied to pain and suffering, and punitive damages. It also asks for a jury trial.
"Although this case will never bring Jordan back, perhaps it will bring a modicum of justice in this senseless tragedy," said Knoxville attorney Mary Ward, who is representing Camp's parents.
In addition, Ward said she plans to file another lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office and the county on behalf of the mobile home's owner. She said the trailer where Camp hid is still damaged and partially "covered in bullet holes."
Camp's parents, Rick and Cindy, also plan to hold a memorial in the shopping center on West End Avenue in Farragut on Friday, the one year anniversary of their son's death.
Knox County officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Camp, who was 21 at the time, died in what the Office of Professional Standards determined was a one-sided exchange of gunfire. He was shot 18 times. In addition, a ricocheting round struck Knox County Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Ledbetter in the lower left leg, severely damaging a major artery.
The shooting took place during the afternoon of June 20 inside an empty mobile home at Concord Trailer Park near Canton Hollow Road.
A deputy initially spotted Camp near the park's entrance. He was wanted on two outstanding criminal warrants of aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident. Camp fled from the deputy. He ran into the woods and made his way to a trailer and barricaded himself inside a back bedroom.
Deputies at the time said Camp told negotiators that he had guns and was going to kill himself. Later, authorities said, he threatened to shoot officers before finally pointing a Ruger rifle out of the bedroom door and fired.
However, in mid-October, the Office of Professional Standards, which investigated the shooting, determined that Camp never fired his weapon, but did point it at officers and threaten them. The report said that the KCSO Negotiation Team talked to Camp for two hours while the SWAT team took up defensive positions inside and outside the mobile home.
Authorities warned Camp not to point the gun at them, but he ignored them, according to the report. Officers opened fire after he pointed the muzzle of a Ruger Model 10/22 semi-automatic refile at the face of a SWAT officer.
Authorities fired 49 rounds, hitting Camp 18 times.
Ledbetter was hospitalized with serious injuries to his leg that required extensive surgery, but has since returned to work.
The Knox County District Attorney General's Office cleared the deputies of any legal wrongdoing in the standoff.
In the complaint, Ward says there was no reason for the deputies to enter the single-wide trailer since they were not in "hot pursuit," and Camp "did not present any immediate danger to a third party."
She said that as the deputies negotiated with Camp, they gave him alcohol which "was unreasonable and unnecessary and showed a reckless disregard for" his life.
Camp, the complaint notes, was struck by bullets in the "face, the chest, the abdomen, and the back."
"Upon information and belief, the total number of times the defendants discharged their weapons was excessive and unnecessary in neutralizing any thread (Camp) posed to (authorities)," the lawsuit states.
Camp had a number of run-ins with the law prior to the shooting, although they were mostly minor offenses. However, he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault after he attacked his sister, according to records.
Also, several days before his death, records show Camp stabbed a motorist in the hand after the two got into an accident.
Ward said Camp was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 13.