PALMDALE – A lawyer Wednesday announced the filing of a legal claim against Los Angeles County on behalf of a woman who was wounded in a June 17 gunbattle in which sheriff’s deputies killed a spousal abuse and kidnapping suspect whose half-brother was found hanged in Palmdale a week before.
Attorney Bradley Gage brought the claim — often the precursor to a lawsuit — on Monday on behalf of Shellondra Thomas and her 7-year-old daughter. Both were in an SUV with Terron Jammal Boone when he was shot to death by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in the Kern County town of Rosamond about 4:30 p.m. on June 17.
Thomas was hit in the chest with by a bullet fragment and her daughter was uninjured, but will suffer a lifetime of nightmares and terror, according to the claim.
The body of Boone’s half-brother, Robert Fuller, was found with a rope around his neck about 3:40 a.m. on June 10 in Poncitlan Square, across from Palmdale City Hall. Authorities initially said the death appeared to be a suicide, although an official cause of death has not been made.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has vowed to conduct a thorough investigation into Fuller’s death — with cooperation from state and federal agencies.
Thomas’ claim states that she was driving her daughter and Boone to a store to buy flour for use in their dinner when they noticed they were being followed.
The unmarked vehicle trailed them as they drove a circuitious route “in fear for their lives, worried that the SUV’s occupants were affiliated with the men who were lynching Black men around the country …,” according to the claim.
Boone “was terrified that the fate that befell his brother and other Black men in the Antelope Valley would take his life, as well,” the claim states.
Thomas ended up driving into the parking lot of the apartment complex where the three lived.
“Gunfire erupted,” the claim states. “Another Black man lay dead in a pool of blood.”
The LASD previously said the deputies were looking for a kidnap, domestic assault and assault with a deadly weapon suspect and that Boone was positively identified as matching the suspect’s description.
“Detectives followed the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop,” according to a sheriff’s statement. “The suspect opened the front passenger door of the vehicle and engaged the deputies by firing multiple rounds at them with a handgun.”
Deputies returned fire and Boone, 31, was struck several times in the upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the sheriff’s statement.
Court records obtained by the Los Angeles Times show that Boone was charged the day before his death with multiple criminal counts, including criminal threats, assault, false imprisonment and domestic violence.
Surveillance video posted by the Rosamond Community Watchdog, a local news platform, showed multiple vehicles trailing a dark SUV into a housing complex parking lot. Voices repeatedly shouted, “Hands up!” before gunfire erupted.
None of the detectives nor their vehicles were equipped with cameras, but a sheriff’s official has said investigators are trying to recover footage from doorbell cameras and other home video systems in the area.
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