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Family of Police Shooting Victim Speaks

Family of Police Shooting Victim Speaks

Posted - Mar. 17, 2004 at 10:47 p.m.



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Samantha Hayes reportingAndrea Neuman / Sister: “I know he had done something stupid at the very beginning when the officer tried to pull him over from what we've heard. But there was no excuse for what happened that night."

After shooting at police, he was a man on the run. He swore he'd never be taken alive. But his family feels Donald Neuman didn't have to die. And, they are blaming police.

Police say they had no choice, but to fire back. More than 25 times, according to reports, because Neuman fired the first shot.

But family members say they've heard a different story from witnesses.

Family members say they know Donald Neuman was no angel, but wish the events of Saturday morning would have led to his capture, not his death.

24 year old Donald Jeffrey Neuman was in big trouble. After shooting at a West Valley City motorcycle officer, he was facing attempted murder and other serious charges.

Andrea Neuman/sister: “I wished to God he would have called one of us. Maybe we could have talked to him to come to our home and take him in ourselves, to the police station, anything to avoid what happened that night."

Neuman didn't turn himself in.

Police caught up with him that weekend. And when they did, the chase ended for good.

Craig Gibson, Assistant Chief West Valley City Police: “We think our West Valley officers fired between 20 and 25 rounds."

There were five officers from West Valley City and three from other agencies.

Assistant Chief Craig Gibson says they all responded individually and all made the right choice to fire, when Neuman reached for his weapon.

Craig Gibson, Assistant Chief West Valley City Police: “The officer saw that threat. Saw him attempt to draw that weapon go for that weapon, and he also fired that weapon."

Neuman's family says they got a different story after talking to witnesses.

Andrea Neuman/sister: “from what we were told, he got down on his knees to surrender, he didn't reach for his gun, and he was shot at close range, from what we were told."

They see a different picture, one that would have kept their family together.

Andrea Neuman/sister:: They could of arrested him, given him a chance to reform. He was never given a chance to become something better than he ended up to be on the drugs."

After the shooting, police stripped Neuman's body, and it was left naked for several hours. Police say they couldn't move the body before collecting evidence.

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