Loreal Tsingine update: Family of woman shot by Winslow police files claim

Posted at 2:22 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 18:33:44-04

The family of a woman who was fatally shot by a Winslow police officer four months ago filed a $10.5 million notice of claim against the city on Friday.

An attorney for the city declined comment on the wrongful-death claim that is a precursor to a lawsuit.

The claim says Officer Austin Shipley violated the civil rights of Loreal Tsingine in the shooting, and the city was negligent in "hiring, training, retaining, controlling and supervising" Shipley.

At least two officers who trained Shipley had serious concerns about his work, including that he was too quick to go for his service weapon, ignored directives from superiors and falsified reports, according to records obtained by The Associated Press in April.

The record also showed that a police corporal recommended that the Winslow Police Department not retain Shipley a day before his training ended in September 2013.

Shipley was responding to a reported shoplifting at a convenience store on March 27 and fired five shots at Tsingine, who allegedly threatened him with scissors, authorities said.

The shooting of Tsingine, a 27-year-old Navajo woman, prompted calls from Navajo Nation officials for the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the treatment of American Indians who live in towns that border the reservation.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety concluded its investigation into the shooting last month and forwarded its findings to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office for an independent prosecutorial review requested by the Navajo County Attorney's Office.

The claim names the city and Shipley as defendants, along with Winslow Police Chief Stephen Garnett, who is scheduled to retire next month.

Shipley has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting. A cellphone number listed for him has been disconnected. Garnett didn't immediately return a call Friday seeking on the claim, which seeks $2 million for Tsingine's husband and $8.5 million for her 8-year-old daughter.

Ellen Van Riper, an attorney for Winslow, said the city was in the process of reviewing the claim and its 52 exhibits. It's the city's policy not to comment on pending litigation, she said.