Parents Of West Virginia Teen Who Was Shot By Officer During Altercation Sue State Police

| by Nicholas Roberts
Timothy Hill (left) With Two Friends, Minutes Before The Altercation Timothy Hill (left) With Two Friends, Minutes Before The Altercation

A West Virginia police officer and his department are being sued by the parents of a teenager whom the police officer shot and killed in June 2014.

According to reports, Timothy Hill, 18, was shot and killed by Senior Trooper B.D. Gillespie after a brief altercation on the morning of June 13, 2014. The altercation reportedly regarded an ill-fated prank, when Timothy and two of his friends threw their wet underwear on Gillespie's police cruiser after going swimming. Gillespie confronted the boys about the prank outside of Timothy's house, which led to a struggle.

During the fight, Gillespie pepper-sprayed Timothy and hit him with a baton, before both fell to the bottom of a ditch, where Gillespie claims that Timothy attempted to take the trooper's gun from him. Gillespie shot Timothy once in the head and once in the chest, killing him.

Timothy's family lived in the same neighborhood as Gillespie, near the community of Kegley in Mercer County, reported West Virginia Record. Timothy's parents, Michele and Robert Hill, alleged that Gillespie had taken a particular, keen interest in Timothy's behavior for years prior to the shooting, according to a criminal complaint filed on Nov. 3.

According to the West Virginia Record, the complaint contains a litany of incidents involving Gillespie, including but not limited to previous confrontations with Timothy. One on occasion, the complaint states that the officer arrived at the Hill family home to threaten the family about Timothy's behavior. On another occasion, he threatened Michele with a ticket for putting out trash too early. On a third incident, he allegedly threatened to take Timothy to jail.

"Among other things ... Gillespie did not like when Timmy rode his dirt bike in front of the Gillespie residence," the complaint said. "The Hills had seen defendant Gillespie watching Timmy with binoculars and recording him with a video camera."

The lawsuit filed by the Hill family against Gillespie alleges wrongful death, civil rights violations, and unlawful arrest, reported Charleston Gazette-Mail. 

Sources: Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia Record / Photo credit: Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney's Office