Messina Family Files Federal Lawsuit

The Messinas are asking for a jury trial and for damages to compensate for the "pain and suffering" they endured in the aftermath of the shooting.

Credit: Patch
Credit: Patch
The family of a 16-year-old Towne Lake boy who was killed in a standoff has filed a lawsuit against the Cherokee Sheriff's Office SWAT marksman in federal court.

Nick and Lisa Messina have filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against the man on the SWAT team who made the fatal shot, according to the Cherokee Ledger-News

The Messinas told the Ledger they want to pursue justice for their child and ensure what happened to their son never happens to another child. 

The Messinas are asking the court for a jury trail, and for them to award damages due to the "pain and suffering" they had to endure after the May 2012 incident, the Ledger states. 

Andrew Messina, 16, was killed in SWAT standoff in his home in May 2012 in the Eagle Watch subdivision in Towne Lake. 

Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison declined to comment on the lawsuit. 

Check back with Patch for updates. 

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Michael August 20, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Not sure how to feel about this...
Pam J August 20, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Since the mother is the one who first called 911 and said her son was holding her hostage, I can't really see this lawsuit working. I think she is just trying to make herself feel better about the whole thing. I know they have to be suffering, but blaming the very people you asked to help you for doing what was probably the only thing they could do is wrong. My belief is this - if the police are called because someone is holed up in their house with a gun, by themselves, the police should just leave. That person would probably calm down and everything would be alright. But they have to turn it into a major event and somebody ends up in jail or dead.
Cassandra Miles August 21, 2013 at 06:17 AM
Horrible situation and a horrible loss, but because 911 was called and the circumstances described by the person calling would lead law enforcement to believe someone was going to die, I don't know how the situation could have been resolved peacefully. I would imagine a lawsuit could just as easily have been filed, had law enforcement had sat and done nothing and the mother had been killed.
Susan August 21, 2013 at 09:25 AM
It is a horrible situation. But please read some of the articles which clearly state that Lisa Messina had left the house long before Andrew was killed. hen the police The police were aware that she was not in the house. It is easy to believe what you read in main stream media, but when you read further and deeper you will see the facts. Another point, Roger Garrison has been quoted as saying they did everything they could to resolve this situation - that is simply not true - the Police/SWAT were only on the scene for one hour 10 minutes, in my opinion not enough time to resolve the situation, and definitely not enough time to jusitfy taking the life of a 16 year old boy. Since the day the Messina's son was killed several other similar situations, even more threatening situations have ocurred which were RESOLVED PEACEFULLY. God Bless you Lisa & Nick. I hope through your efforts that policy changes and training will be implemented so that this will never happen to another family.
People are Crazy August 21, 2013 at 10:53 AM
Better yet read the police reports instead of the newspaper articles that said the mentally ill young man had a gun and was threatening law enforcement with it. I hate that it happened. I hate that the young man was mentally ill, I hate that the mom felt THREATENED ENOUGH to call 911. An officer is justified when someone, NO MATTER WHAT THE AGE, or if there is a hostage involved or not, has a gun pointed at him/her and is threatened to use deadly force. Period. Should the policy say give the person three hours to shoot you first and then shoot? The saying hind sight is 20/20, everyone can be as judgmental as you want, but there is no way you know what YOU would do if you were in that situation much less if you were in law enforcement and TRAINED on what to do. Law enforcement did what they had to do. @Susan you contract yourself. "Since that time...resolved peacefully" "policy changes and training ... implemented". If situations since that time turned out differently wouldn't that imply that they have had additional training or looked at the situation to see if it could have been handled differently? In addition, I don't believe that any situation since that time was exactly the same as this child's situation. Do you know of any situation where the person was mentally ill threatening and waving a loaded gun at law enforcement while refusing to come out? It was a tragedy that the young man died, but I stand by my comment that law enforcement is justified to shoot anyone, 5 or 50, if they have a loaded gun waved at them and the person is threatening. A lawsuit is not going to bring this young man back. I think it brings back into the limelight that the system/parents/whomever failed this young, mentally ill man, for him to have gotten to the point of threatening his mother and she feared for her safety enough to call 911, and subsequently threatened officers with a loaded weapon that was in the home that ended with his death. It could have turned out differently. They could have not shot the perpetrator. He could have slipped out some how and started shooting everyone in his neighborhood including babies. You can not try to make sense of a situation and say it would turn out better had the shot not been fired. It would have turned out differently, but you don't know HOW it would have turned out differently, and if the end result would still be the same. When someone is mentally ill and is not thinking rationally is impossible to discuss what his actions might have been in rational terms.
Randytx August 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Don't know either on this, but have to ask where Andrew got the weapon? If it was in the house to begin with , would that be irresponsible for the parents to have it there knowing Andrew was mentally ill? If Andrew received it elsewhere, that may be also be irresponsibility on someone else's part....
Pam J August 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Does the police report state that the mother called 911 and said her son was holding her hostage? I don't care if she got out later. You've got to think long and hard before calling 911 on one of your children. And I too wonder where he got the gun. Like Hannah Anderson said ""They don't really know the story so they kind of have their own opinion on what they hear." Yep, that will happen. But good luck.
Susan August 22, 2013 at 03:12 PM
To confirm a couple of points, Andy (Andrew) was not mentally ill. He was being treated for depression. He was never holding her hostage, that can be heard on the 911 recording. Also, Mom left the house per the instructions of the police, so they knew she was no longer in the house. Most of us were brought up to think of police as helpers, but that has changed. It has changed because society has changed, so your are right, think very carefully before you call 911 for help, and that is a shame.
Pam J August 23, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Why did the mother call 911? You've got to know that when you call and say that your child is holding a gun and is suffering from depression that it probably won't end well. Why didn't she call her husband?
Susan August 23, 2013 at 07:31 PM
She did call her husband. But, they had never had a reason to be involved with police on any level up until this point and like most of us, they were still in the mind set that the Police are there to help. She expected one or two police cars to come to help, but instead a full SWAT team showed up. case. Pam, here's a link to the interview Nick & Lisa Messina did with CBS News Atlanta. Just a very sad story for everyone involved. http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/19917831/teen-shot-by-police-sniper-parents-talk-only-to-cbs-atlanta-news


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