Family of teen killed by police gets $3 million in settlement

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MESA - The family of a 15-year-old boy killed by Mesa police officers is getting $3 million.


Family of teen shot by police gets $3 million - The City of Mesa will be paying the family of a 15-year-old shot and killed by 3 Mesa officers $3 million.

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Despite the settlement the mayor and the Mesa Police Association say the officers' actions were justified.

The mother of Mario Madrigal, Jr. called 911 back in August of 2003. She called the Mesa Police Dept. to help her drunken 15-year-old son, who was armed with a kitchen knife, and threatening suicide.

She was actually still on the line with the 911 operator when police arrived. It's too graphic to describe, but during the call you can hear police shoot and kill her son.

Three police officers fired 15 shots, ten of the bullets striking the teenager. The police department claimed it was self defense saying the 15-year-old lunged at them with the knife.

The Madrigal family, however, became outspoken critics of the department and held annual protests and filed a lawsuit. Speaking on behalf of the three officers involved, the Mesa Police Association felt the settlement will help everyone move forward with their lives but did not like the idea of paying such a large sum, of money because they claim the officers did nothing wrong.

The mayor said the settlement does not say the officers are guilty of anything.

Since the shooting two of the officers have medically retired from the force. 3TV chose not to air the pictures or names of the officers that were involved in the shooting to protect their identity. 3TV has been told they have received several death threats over the years.

Paying the $3 million will not affect the budget of the already cash-strapped city. The mayor says they will pay the settlement with money from insurance and a reserve liability fund.