OGDEN -- The family of Todd Blair, who was shot and killed while brandishing a golf club at agents during a drug raid, is planning a lawsuit against local authorities over his death.
"It just doesn't take a genius to see there might have been another way to resolve the situation," said Tauna Blair Doesberg, Blair's younger sister who has acted as family spokeswoman.
She said the family has met with two lawyers and been advised their's is a federal case.
The family has been instructed to gather up all reports around the situation, including video from helmet-cams officers wore the night of the shooting, Doesberg said.
She was planning to submit open records requests for the information to the Weber County Attorney's Office on Friday. The Standard- Examiner also submitted a request for the helmet-cam video last week.
Weber-Morgan Strike Force Sgt. Troy Burnett fired three shots at Blair in what Weber County Attorney Dee Smith found last week was a justified use of lethal force under state law in the Sept. 16 death.
Agents led by Burnett had entered the home forcibly with guns drawn under authority of a no-knock search warrant for Blair's residence.
Such use of force is justified if the officer "reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the officer or another person," Smith wrote in his decision issued after an investigation by the officer-involved shooting unit run out of his office.
Doesberg said the family was not expecting an apology from Smith, but "we were hoping they would say they were going to re-evaluate procedures, or how they do no-knock warrants."
"This is not about money," Doesberg said. "If it's about money, it feels vindictive and dirty. I just don't want this to happen to anyone else."
The agents executing the no-knock search warrant just before 10 p.m. entered the home yelling "police" and "search warrant" several times as officers entered, according to Smith.
Burnett was first through the door and encountered Blair after a few steps, holding the golf club over his head like a baseball bat.
Blair had been under investigation for several months by the strike force on suspicion of dealing meth and heroin. Only a small amount of marijuana, and paraphernalia, was found in the home, Smith said, and a small vial of what appeared to be meth was in the dead man's pants pocket.
The substance field-tested as meth and is being confirmed by testing in the state crime lab, Smith said.
He added that it is believed Blair was on meth at the time of the confrontation because of a fresh needle mark found on his arm.
Family and friends described the 45-year-old Blair as a troubled addict, but never a dealer, who gave shelter to the needy and was a handyman who did repairs for friends.
Doesberg said he was living in a home owned by his parents, of South Weber, and had $4 in his pocket when he died.