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Wrongful death and excessive force suit filed against officer, town in Wethersfield shooting

On April 20, 2019, 18-year-old Anthony Jose Vega Cruz was shot by a Wethersfield Police officer. He would die two days later.
Credit: FOX61
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WETHERSFIELD, Conn. — The lawyers representing Anthony Vega Cruz, who was shot and eventually died in a 2019 police shooting in Wethersfield, have filed a wrongful death and excessive force lawsuit against former Wethersfield Police Officer Layau Eulizier Jr., the town, and the other parties involved. 

Vega Cruz was shot by Eulizier on April 20, 2019, on the Silas Deane Highway after Wethersfield police tried to pull him over at about 6 p.m. that Saturday because his license plates didn’t match his car, and they thought it may have been stolen, according to police accounts.

Vega Cruz’s family said the car was not registered. He died about two days later. 

Police said Vega Cruz crashed into a cruiser and then drove toward Eulizier, who had exited his vehicle before he opened fire. The 18-year-old was struck in the head, according to his family.

Eulizier voluntarily resigned from the Wethersfield Police Department in April 2020, citing the strain of the fatal shooting case on him and his family. 

The State's Attorney's Office reported in March 2020 the use of force was justified. 

The suit this week was filed by lawyers representing Jose Vega Colon, Vega Cruz's father.

According to the suit, the plaintiffs are accused at times of "willful" and "malicious" conduct towards Vega Cruz. The suit also claims the use of force and the shooting were unjustified. 

The defendants also alleged Eulizier did not call medical attention for Vega Cruz in a timely manner and the other officers involved did not attempt to provide medical aid to him. 

If the suit is successful, the plaintiffs would have to pay for Vega Cruz's hospital expenses, funeral, and burial, as well as attorney's fees and costs. 

Vega Colon's lawyers are also is asking the Chief State's Attorney to assign another State's Attorney to the case to re-investigate. 

Read the full suit below: