Society

SWAT Team's Killing Of 107-Year-Old Raises Questions

| by Jared Keever

Just over a year ago, police in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, shot and killed a gun-wielding 107-year-old man inside his home. Sunday, the family of Monroe Isadore held a memorial service near the site of the shooting and said they are still looking for answers.

Isadore’s daughter, Paula Aquilar said she believes the killing could have been avoided and that the family has never been given adequate answers as to why a SWAT team needed to confront an elderly man, armed or not.

“Why did they shoot him? Why did they not contact the family? Why did they not give him time? There's a lot of why's and there's no answers to the why.” Aguilar told KATV

A special prosecutor, assigned to investigate the shooting, cleared the officers of any wrongdoing last year.

“I just feel like they're not giving enough attention. I think they're wanting this to just go away,” Aguilar told Arkansas Matters

Isadore was killed last year after police responded to reports of a disturbance at his home. 

CBS News reported at the time that police ordered two people away from the home, then tried to approach Isadore, who was in one of the home’s bedrooms. He fired a shot through the door and officers retreated and called for backup.

The town’s SWAT team responded. Using a small camera aimed through a side window, the team determined Isadore was armed with a small handgun and locked in the bedroom. 

“SWAT inserted gas into the room, after it was evident negotiations were unsuccessful, in hopes Isadore would surrender peacefully. When the gas was inserted into the room, Isadore fired rounds at the SWAT officers that had inserted the gas from outside a bedroom window,” a police report from the incident reads.

“Shortly afterwards, a SWAT entry team, inside the residence, breached the door to the bedroom and threw a distraction device into the bedroom. Isadore then began to fire on the entry team and the entry team engaged Isadore, killing him,” the report says. 

Lawrence Walker, an attorney for Isadore’s family, said he filed a suit last week against the city. 

“We're hoping to get this case in front of a federal jury and get justice for the family of Monroe Isadore,” he said. “We won't believe that a 107-year-old man needed to be gunned down when he had hearing issues that the police knew about, they knew of his age, they knew he had lots of children.”

Walker said he doesn’t expect the city to formally receive the suit until sometime next week.

Isadore is survived by three sons, seven daughters, 27 grandchildren and 66 great-grandchildren.

Sources: KATV, Arkansas Matters, CBS News

Photo Source: Facebook: Justice for Monroe Isadore