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Civil Jury finds Chicago Police Officers Patrick Kelly, Antonio Corral and City of Chicago liable for the shooting death of Hector Hernandez, a 21-year-old father, with a verdict of $1,350,000 for his children

March 24, 2022

Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, representing the family of Hector Hernandez, who was shot and killed during a mental health crisis, announces a civil jury found former Chicago Police Officers Patrick Kelly and Antonio Corral and the City of Chicago liable for Hernandez’s death and awarded his two minor children $1,350,000. The award will be reduced by 45% for a total of $742,500.

Mr. Hernandez died on April 7, 2014, at the age of 21 after Kelly and Corral and other Chicago Police Department officers responded to a domestic incident when Hernandez was visiting his girlfriend’s house in Gage Park. Hector had planned on taking their young son to Chuck E. Cheese when they had an argument. Police were called and, eventually, Hector found himself in a small, 60-square-foot space in the home's kitchen and dinette area surrounded by a sea of officers with Kelly and Corral at the forefront with their guns drawn. Mr. Hernandez was experiencing an acute mental health crisis and was holding a kitchen knife to his neck and threatened to harm himself. When Mr. Hernandez tried to move away from the officers out of the cramped kitchen area to the back of the home, the two officers opened fire. Mr. Hernandez was shot 13 times with eight of the shots to his back and died at the scene.

At trial, Romanucci & Blandin attorneys argued that the officers were unjustified in their use of deadly force because Hector was only threatening to harm himself, he was not an imminent threat, and because the officers unreasonably endangered themselves by removing cover and closing the distance between them and Hector to create the justification for their use of deadly force.

Romanucci & Blandin Founding Partner Antonio M. Romanucci, Partner Bhavani K. Raveendran, Senior Attorney Debra L. Thomas, Attorney Michelle R. DiSilvestro and others represented the family of Hector Hernandez at trial with the help of other members of the firm. The late Attorney Jeffrey Granich and his partner, Joshua Morrison, also contributed to the case prior to trial.

“As we approach the 8-year anniversary of Hector’s death, his young children continue to grieve the loss of their father. Today’s verdict provides a measure of justice for the family but can never replace the loss of a father who was truly loved. This young man in crisis needed to be met with help and human compassion, not aggression and weapons,” said Antonio M. Romanucci, Founding Partner of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC.

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