Family Wants Answers After Police Fatally Shoot Indiana Man - NBC Southern California
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Family Wants Answers After Police Fatally Shoot Indiana Man

Family members and the Lake County coroner's officer identified 25-year-old Rashad Cunningham as the man shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop early Saturday

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    Family Wants Answers After Gary Police Fatally Shoot Man

    The family of a man fatally shot by police in Gary, Indiana, over the weekend says they want answers about what led to his death. NBC 5's Lisa Chavarria has the latest details.

    (Published Monday, Aug. 19, 2019)

    The family of a man fatally shot by police in Gary, Indiana, over the weekend says they want answers about what led to his death.

    Family members and the Lake County coroner's office identified 25-year-old Rashad Cunningham as the man shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop early Saturday.

    The shooting took place at around 3 a.m. near East 23rd Avenue and Kentucky Street, according to a statement from the Gary Police Department.

    Gary police said the shooting happened during a traffic stop and no officers were injured, declining to release further information, only that the Lake County Sheriff's Department would be conducting the investigation into the incident.

    Cunningham's family indicated the shooting happened in front of his northwest Indiana home and that he was with two other men in his car when police arrived.

    It's unclear how the situation escalated, but family said witnesses told them an officer fired five to six shots into the car, killing Cunningham. His family's attorney said Sunday that Cunningham had no criminal history and was licensed to legally carry a firearm, though it's not clear if he had a gun at the time.

    Cunningham's girlfriend and the mother of his 1-year-old son wrote a letter to Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, asking for her to arrange for the viewing of body and dash camera videos of the shooting.

    "From the shadow of his absence and in the midst of our grief, I am reaching out to you to ask for your help, as my family and I try to come to terms with Rashad's death at the hands of officers of your city's police force," wrote Heather Fox.

    "They could’ve detained him, they could have did anything," Fox said. "They could have detained him, they could have shot him below the waist one time, they could have tazed him, anything, they didn’t have to shoot him.”

    The family now has an attorney who is conducting his own investigation.

    “It is our understanding that the officer involved has history of excessive force," said family attorney Andrew M. Stroth.                            

    Cunningham's family said they planned to hold a vigil for him on Monday evening beginning around 6 p.m. at the scene of the shooting.