When police officers responded to a domestic disturbance call at a West Sacramento home in July 2012, homeowner Kevin Hughey said he was shot by one of the officers who was out of control.
"I realized someone was actually kicking in the door," Hughey explained.
Hughey said even though the heated discussion between he and his wife had de-escalated, a West Sacramento police officer forced his way into the their home.
"I stepped back to get out of the way of the door as it flung open," Hughey said. "I immediately saw an officer with his gun drawn. I started to put my hands up and before I could even move, he shot me."
Last week, Hughey filed a civil lawsuit in US District Court in Sacramento against the West Sacramento Police Departement and the city. According to the suit, the bullet went into Hughey's stomach, ricocheted off of a pelvic bone and lodged itself between two vertebrae. The suit states there was "blood gushing from Hughey's left side."It also says Hughey was rushed to the hospital, where "police literally shackled Hughey to his hospital bed" after his surgery.
"Obviously, not in any risk of going anywhere, but they shackled me to the bed and put me under 24-hour armed guard," Hughey said.
Hughey said police would not allow anyone to see him or even tell his family if he was still alive. He was then charged with resisting arrest. The arresting officer, Chris Wright, was a rookie in July 2012; he had only been on the force six months when the shooting occurred.
Wright told the investigating officer Det. Ken Fellows that Hughey fought with him and grabbed his gun, and then Hughey was accidently shot. Investigators found Wright used excessive force and he was later released from the department. The charges against Hughey were dropped.
However, the Yolo County District Attorney's Office decided not to file criminal charges against Wright. In a written statement, the D.A. said there was "insufficient evidence to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt" that Wright acted criminally.
Police department spokesperson Lt. Tod Sockman would not comment on the original shooting or the lawsuit. He would only say, "we're aware of the contents of what's in it, and we plan on responding to that appropriately through the courts."
Wright did not respond to requests for comment for this story.
The West Sacramento Police Department also would not talk about what allegedly happened at the Hughey Home just two months ago. Paramedics were called to the home after Kevin Hughey fell down the stairs. Hughey said eight WSPD officers rushed to the house and confronted him and his family.
"Outside of my home ordering my wife and my 17-month-old child out of our home at gunpoint for a medical call," Hughey said.
A former prosecutor told News10 he has reviewed dozens of officer involved shooting cases, and has never seen one officer charged criminally. Former U.S. Attorney, and Shasta County District Attorney MacGregor Scott said the cases usually don't contain any physical evidence and jurors are left with witness statements from victims and police officers, which vary greatly.
"There's no one thing on which a jury can rely on to determine what really happened relative to what A says and what B says," Scott explained. "That's called reasonable doubt."
Hughey said he has plenty of information to support not only his civil lawsuit, but also criminal charges.
"We have nothing short of a mountain of evidence, physical, forensic, eyewitness," Hughey explained.
According to the lawsuit, the evidence includes DNA testing showing Hughey and Wright never struggled, no gun powder residue suggesting Hughey was even near Wright's gun when it fired. Blood spatters show Wright was seven feet away from Hughey when he shot him.
Hughey and his attorney said a lot more information will come to light as their lawsuit makes its way through the federal court system.
Thom Jensen, News10 Investigative Reporter