A New Mexico woman has sued a police department after officers fatally shot her husband when they went to the wrong house on a call.
Robert Dotson, 52, was shot dead by officers in Farmington in April when they knocked on the wrong door as they responded to a domestic violence incident.
Kim Dotson says that she was detained for hours after the incident and has failed to get a proper explanation from the police department.
“I feel helpless the way all of this has happened,” Ms Dotson, 49, told NBC News.
“I don’t understand how these guys get to go home to their families and they broke apart our family,” she said. “We didn’t do anything wrong.”
Lawyers for the officers involved – Daniel Estrada, Dylan Goodluck and Waylon Wasson – claim her husband was shot in the doorway of his home when he raised his own gun.
Ms Doston says she did not realise it was the police and returned fire, with officers then firing another 18 shots into her home, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed in federal district court.
The suit names the city of Farmington and the three officers as defendants and claims that the killing was unjustified.
“These three officers were the ones who pulled the trigger, who killed Mr Dotson. And they, we believe, deserve to be held individually accountable,” said Doug Perrin, one of the attorneys representing the family, told TV station KOAT.
Luis Robles, a lawyer for the officers, says that they had no choice but to fire their weapons.
“My heart goes out to her,” Mr Robles said. “Her husband made this mistake from which he could not recover by pointing a gun at these police officers … even though they made a mistake by showing up at the wrong house.”
Mr Robles blamed the error on the department’s dispatch system.
Police Chief Steve Hebbe has called the shooting an “extremely traumatic event” and that he was “just heartbroken by the circumstances surrounding this.”
Two of the officers in the lawsuit are back on duty but the incident remains under review by the state’s attorney general.
The third officer remains on leave but plans on returning to duty.