Parents Of Teen Fatally Shot Last Year Suing Officer

May 16, 2019, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:07 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A couple claims the Cottonwood Heights police officer who fatally shot their son in the back a year ago two blocks from their home used excessive force and should be held accountable.

The 19 year old was suspected of robbing two stores at gunpoint and was fleeing from police last May. The parents believe the officer had no reason to kill their son, and their own investigation leads them to believe he was a threat to no one.

“We just can’t be more shocked,” said Tiffany James, sitting with her husband, Aaron, in their lawyer’s office.

They say they’ve been seeking justice for their son, Zane James, ever since he was fatally shot in the back a year ago while running from police.

They’re now suing the officer who pulled the trigger and Cottonwood Heights. They claim in their civil suit that the shooting was unjustified, and truth was covered up.

“It’s been egregious,” said Tiffany James, the teenager’s mother. “The fact of the matter is that we trust our law-enforcement to do what’s right.”

Aaron and Tiffany James talked about a loving son and brother who played hockey and showed promise as a potential collegiate player. His parents say he ended up on a downward spiral after an injury, and addiction to opioids.

May 29th, last year, Zane James robbed two groceries stores with a realistic looking gun, that turned out to be a pellet gun.

As he fled police, James crashed his motorcycle and ran. Officer Casey Davies, on his way in to work, heard about the pursuit, spotted James and fired four shots.

Two of them hit the fleeing teen, one of them paralyzed him. He died three days later at the hospital.

“He was shot and killed in our neighborhood,” said Aaron James.

The officer never gave a statement as he was investigated for the shooting, which is his right. He was cleared of wrongdoing by the District Attorney’s Office.

Aaron and Tiffany James said they tried to talk with the law enforcement and city authorities involved with the case, but said they were stonewalled. They’re upset that Officer Davies didn’t use non-lethal force, such as a taser, and bring their son in for questioning.

“Officer Davies served a death sentence to Zane, wild-west style in our neighborhood,” said Aaron James. “That’s why we’re both sitting here today.”

“What happened to Zane was an egregious violation of his constitutional right to be free — free from unreasonable arrest and from the use of excessive force,” said Robert Sykes, their lawyer.

Officer Davies was not wearing a bodycam because he was on his way to work. Video was captured by the camera of another responding officer after James was shot. Davies no longer works for Cottonwood Heights. The department declined to comment today.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Casey Scott gives away gas cards on Feb. 23, 2024. (KSL TV)...

Casey Scott

Casey Scott gives away gas cards and bro hugs to lucky Utah drivers

It's Wednesday, which means Casey Scott was out surprising some drivers with $50 gas cards and bro hugs!

18 minutes ago

Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Teen gamer Noah wants to make memories with forever family

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s not uncommon to hear shrieking and laughter coming from inside the Redrig mobile gaming trailer. With dozens of games to play, and multiple screens to play on, it’s a space where everyone is welcome.

19 minutes ago

This week, the Larry H. and Gail Miller Foundation announced a $2.2 million donation to water conse...

Karah Brackin

Miller family to donate $2.2 million in water conservation efforts in Utah

This week, the Larry H. and Gail Miller Foundation announced a $2.2 million donation to water conservation efforts in Utah.

38 minutes ago

Matt Gephardt with Hung Tran who is explaining why he has been trying to get his social security be...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt helps retiree deadlocked with Social Security over lost birth certificate

The United States has been home for Hung Tran nearly 50 years. He came here as a refugee fleeing war-torn Vietnam in 1975.

1 hour ago

Two of Utah’s major healthcare providers confirmed to KSL TV that they were impacted by the secur...

Garna Mejia

Pharmacies across the state are still reeling from a cyber attack on medical software provider Change Healthcare

Two of Utah’s major healthcare providers confirmed to KSL TV that they were impacted by the security breech including University of Utah Health pharmacies and Intermountain Health.

2 hours ago

A conceptional rendering of a proposed Major League Baseball stadium, located within the Power Dist...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Utah Legislature approves Fairpark District, framework for MLB ballpark funding

Utah lawmakers have decided that an amended version of a bill setting up a Fairpark area investment district and setting up the framework for state funding of a possible Major League Baseball stadium is a home run.

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Parents Of Teen Fatally Shot Last Year Suing Officer