$3.4M settlement in deadly '11 Ariz. SWAT raid

Jose Guerena, a former Marine, was killed in May 2011 with an AR-15 in his hands

By Police1 Staff

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. — The family of a man killed during a SWAT raid at his home has settled a $3.4 million lawsuit against the four police agencies involved in the operation.

Jose Guerena, a former Marine, was shot and killed in May 2011 by SWAT members who raided his home and found him standing at the end of a hallway holding an AR-15.

Guerena’s wife, Vanessa, said she woke her husband because she thought intruders were in the yard, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Guerena, his brother, and a third man were listed as suspects in a complex drug investigation being conducted by the Sheriff's Department, prompting the SWAT unit to go to the house to serve a search warrant.

A spokeswoman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department disagreed with the decision to settle, but implied a prolonged trial could wind up costing taxpayers even more.

“The Pima County Sheriff’s Department strongly believes the events of May 5, 2011, were unfortunate and tragic, but the officers performed that day in accordance with their training and nationally recognized standards,” Deputy Tracy Suitt wrote.

The lawsuit claimed the SWAT team acted negligently throughout the whole process, from the time the detective signed the search warrant to after the shooting, when officers waited more than an hour to give Guerena medical treatment, according to the report.

 The settlement includes Pima County, Marana, Oro Valley and Sahuarita.

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