A family from Florence just filed a notice of claim to sue police for the deadly pursuit that killed their son.
Six months ago today, 29-year-old Brad Moore lost his life in a police chase, crashing a stolen work truck 400 feet down a cliff near Camp Verde.
[WATCH DIGITAL EXTRA: Deadly pursuit timeline]
His parents, Kim and Larry Moore are still raw with emotions about the incident.
“Our lives will never be the same,” said Kim Moore.
“We just want the truth to come out and it doesn't seem like we're getting that,” said Larry Moore. “We thought eventually he would slow down, they would get him, then we would deal with whatever consequences he was going to have to face."
“In no means did we think he was going to lose his life,” said Larry.
They last saw their only son on Christmas day.
“He was a real people person, everyone loved him,” said Kim, describing her son as an outgoing, athletic, charismatic and caring soul.
The army-combat veteran who survived a brief tour in Afghanistan had some real challenges as his unit came back stateside.
“He had a really good friend of his commit suicide in front of him,” Larry explained.
His son was diagnosed with PTSD and took a medical honorable discharge from service in 2009.
“It changed him in a way that he was really not trusting of people. Then he got into using drugs,” said Larry.
He said his son was planning to move back in with them, the weekend of New Year’s Eve.
They actually talked with him the morning of January 24, sensing something was off, never knowing it would be their last conversation.
“He wouldn't tell us where he was going or where he was headed,” Larry remembered.
At 9:57am, Brad Moore crashed his Camaro in Mesa, stealing a truck.
Police lost track of him as he headed east into Apache Junction.
Hours later, he dumped that stolen truck, leaving it running at the intersection of Cooper and Guadalupe in Gilbert to steal another truck left running at a construction site.
What happened over the next hour is the subject of great debate.
“There was a high-speed pursuit that reached speeds in excess of 90 mph over 90 miles between Gilbert to almost Camp Verde,” said family attorney, Jason Lamm.
He says police broke policy and state law.
“It was like there was a pack of rabid coyotes going after wounded prey. High speeds, long distance, for a nonviolent property crime! Nobody had to die because of it,” Lamm said.
DPS’ second in command, Lt. Col. Heston Silbert who was off duty when he witnessed the work truck being stolen in Gilbert, was the first to give chase in his personal truck.
“I wasn't in pursuit. I was just trying to keep an eye on it,” Silbert told us when we first asked him about the investigation back in January.
Lamm said that’s ridiculous.
He says Silbert ‘doggedly pursued’ Moore, creating an imminent and increasingly unnecessary danger to the public at large, officers and ultimately, Mr. Moore, as it ended up costing him his life.
“Brad stole a truck and that’s wrong, but this is a nonviolent property crime. There’s no excuse for it and it didn’t have to happen,” said Lamm.
Silbert did not terminate his pursuit when on-duty units showed up or when dispatch requested he stand down.
Because he was off-duty, he did not have a police radio and was limited to communicate for the majority of the pursuit via cellphone with Gilbert police dispatch.
He’s heard at one point telling the dispatcher, “If your guy by policy has to back-off, I can stay with him.”
Dispatchers were not relaying the verbatim repeated requests made by the team in the Phoenix Police Firebird air unit to have everyone stand down.
"If anyone, supervisor or anyone can get a hold of this guy (referring to Silbert directly behind the stolen work truck). Have him give him some room and let him back off,” the Firebird pilots are heard saying.
Dispatch did tell Silbert around 34 minutes into his call, “For some reason, DPS radio was asking you, DPS2, to back off a little bit.”
To which he replied,”I just didn’t want you to lose sight of him, I’m cool with backing off.”
About three minutes later, dispatch then tells Silbert, “One of our units is losing radio so it’s probably best to keep you on the line.”
Like thousands of other people, the Moores watched the chase unfold on a live news feed online from home.
“It was horrible,” Kim remembered getting the call from their daughter telling them she thought it was Brad in the truck, at times the news chopper got close enough they could see their son in the driver’s seat.
They too, heard the police chopper calling for all units to back off so their son would slow down and they could send in officers standing by to make the arrest.
“They were telling him ‘back off, we got him, what he’ll do is slow down and we got him.’ So we were sitting at home watching thinking ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!” Kim said.
But it kept on going.
“Our daughters kept calling us, saying, ‘can't you do something, can't you do something?’ It was like our hands were tied," Kim said. “We just sat at our computers, it was helpless. It was helpless."
DPS said it’s not that cut and dry.
“A couple different times I was asked to stay with it. And the other issue is, when I was asked to pull back, if you're listening to the 911 tapes, I in fact, did, then was asked to re-engage,” Silbert said.
After the first Gilbert officer showed up, Silbert told dispatch, “Okay your unit’s here with me now. I’ll stay with your guy ‘till he gets backup.”
That Gilbert officer turned on his lights and siren on the Loop 101 but a supervisor shut it down after less than a minute.
Disptach told Silbert, “yeah once they go reckless, we usually back off."
Later, Silbert relayed to dispatch as the chase was on I-17 near Pioneer Rd. at 80 mph that Moore was “starting to get really erratic.”
As the chase moved into Yavapai County, Silbert authorized a PIT maneuver in snow and fog conditions with Moore riding on two rims at 95 mph.
Law enforcement trainers say any PIT maneuver attempted over 35 mph is considered fatal force.
DPS still has not released the District 12 radio communications from when the pursuit ended.
In the Gilbert dispatch recordings you hear, “heavy wind & snow, DPS attempting to PIT,” around milepost 272.
Moore crashed through the guardrail, flying 400 feet down the freeway embankment shortly thereafter at milepost 281.
Last month an internal DPS critical incident report cleared Silbert of any wrongdoing, saying he acted within reason saying it was "fluid, dynamic situation" to apprehend a “dangerous violent suspect.”
And Silbert wasn’t the only trooper who didn’t use his full lights and sirens.
He couldn’t because he didn’t have any in his personal truck.
A citizen caught Moore on dash cam speeding past, in the final seconds before he crashed with five unmarked units on his tail, the first with no lights or siren, the second, third, fourth and fifth had only lights on.
Only the sixth car back, a marked unit had engaged both lights and sirens.
“Clearly this was a grievous policy violation,” Lamm said.
The DPS incident report said while out of policy it was not unreasonable because the troopers made a tactical decision to ease off their sirens so as not to push Moore to any further speeds.
"I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't on- or off-duty try to protect our community because it's what I've sworn to do," Silbert said.
“We just want the truth to come out and it doesn't seem like we're getting that,” said Larry Moore.
While it's impossible to put a price on the cost of losing a loved one, the Moores hope the notice of claim they just filed against the State of Arizona and Town of Gilbert will help their family finally have some answers and accountability.
“We need closure- however long it takes,” said Kim.
The claim, is going after DPS for $4 Million – dollars, with $300,000 against Gilbert Police who declined to comment.
DPS issued a short statement saying:
“The Arizona Department of Public Safety is aware of the Notice of Claim filed against the State. Due to pending litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment, other than to say our top priority is always what's in the best interest of public safety. As previously stated, the actions of the employees involved in the event were reviewed and findings were made based on the policies of AZDPS."
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