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Family of shooting victim files federal lawsuit against Snohomish County & Sheriff’s Office

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SNOHOMISH, Wash. -- A Snohomish family says they want justice in the police shooting death of their son.

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Family of 24-year-old Nickolas Peters shares pictures, memories of him as they file a federal civil rights lawsuit against Snohomish County and the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

The family’s lawyer just filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Snohomish County and the sheriff’s office.  This, seven months after a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed 24-year-old Nickolas Peters after a traffic stop.

His family chooses to remember him as an athlete and a shining star in their lives.

“Never got off the phone without saying I love you. Never left us without saying I love you,” said Nickolas' mother Jayni Peters.

Jayni Peters remembers her son’s loving nature, even on the day he was killed.

"That afternoon he called me and he said 'I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon, love you bye,'” said Peters.

But Jayni never saw Nickolas alive again.  He was shot multiple times by a Snohomish County Sheriff’s deputy back in October.  The sheriff’s deputies tell us Nickolas was speeding, fled police, had warrants out for his arrest, was driving a stolen truck on a suspended license, had methamphetamine in his system, and had a gun not registered to him in the vehicle.

But the family’s lawyer says deputies didn’t know any of that at the time of the shooting but used excessive force and violated his civil rights.

“The danger was in Nickolas’ driving for which he should have been arrested and prosecuted. Not shot,” said Attorney Campiche Arnold.

The details of what led up to the deputy shooting Peters are still under internal investigation while the deputy remains on paid administrative leave.  There are few answers to the mounting questions for Peters’ father.

“You can’t ask them any questions because they’ll say it’s still being investigated so they won’t tell you one thing,” said Mike Peters.

While the family admits Nickolas made some poor decisions, their own forensic investigator and what they know about Nickolas makes them believe the sheriff’s deputy did not have to kill him.

“I don’t feel like that’s my brother. When I read that I’m like they’re not talking about my brother,” said Lyndsay Peters.

The SMART (Snohomish Co Multiple Agency Response Team) team is made up of Snohomish County law enforcement officers from multiple agencies. They investigate police use of force incidents. They sent their findings in this case to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office back in March.  The Prosecutor’s Office tell us the matter is still being reviewed.

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