The family of a man who the authorities claim to have been fatally shot by a former member of the San Diego County Sheriff Department is waiting for what they call "justice" as the lawsuit against the MP on Tuesday his indictment began.
Kathleen Blis, a primary school teacher, said the past few weeks have been a pain for her family.
"Well, my son Nicky is dead," she said of Zoom during a press conference. "He should be alive and here with us, but he's dead and my heart is screaming that this is not right."
Nicholas Bils, 36, was killed in early May after escaping from downtown prison. Escaping the authorities, Bils was shot four times by former sheriff's deputy Aaron Russell, who, according to the San Diego Prosecutor, has now been sentenced to 15 years in prison if convicted of murder. He did not plead guilty to having committed second degree murder on Tuesday.
At the time of the shootout, Bils was playing with his dog Fetch by chopping golf balls in the historic park of Old San Diego when Ranger informed him that he could not have kept his dog on a leash due to coronavirus restrictions and closed the park the family lawyer, Eugene Iredale.
Detectives said Bils had swung a golf putter near the rangers and had run away before the officers arrested him with a lethal weapon for assault. The Rangers put Bils in a truck with the windows partially down, and he finally managed to escape when they got to the district prison.
Bils mother Kathleen told NBC 7 that an official opened fire on her son when he ran away. A bullet hit his leg, another went through his left arm and chest, one hit his back and the fourth brushed his flank.
"He fired five shots," said Iredale. "The fatal shot appears to have been the bullet that went through the back and then the lungs and then the heart of Nicholas Bilt."
"Why? Why is my son dead? He was mentally ill," said Kathleen Bils. "It's not his fault that he doesn't understand."
Kathleen said Nicholas was diagnosed with schizophrenia and feared police officers.
The man's mother thanked the prosecutor very much for providing answers to her family. She now said that all she and her loved ones can do is wait for the courts and jury to decide Russell's fate.
"He must at least let a jury decide for his life," said Kathleen Bils. "Nobody has to choose Nicky except Russell."
Editor's Note: In a previous version of this article, Nicholas and Kathleen's last name was misspelled as Blis. They are Nicholas and Kathleen Bils.