In 2012 Officer Darren Moody of the Dothan, Alabama, police department shot and killed unarmed Christopher Jerome Thomas in his SUV after a 12-block pursuit that ended in a parking lot. The Houston County District Attorney ruled the shooting justified, pointing to Thomas' refusal to stop as the reason he died.
He also told the press Thomas had multiple bags of marijuana in his car and marijuana in his system. What he didn't say, but has now come out in a lawsuit by the family, is that Moody mistakenly believed he was pursuing a convicted felon, Jerry Jerome Hill, when he shot Thomas.
In the lawsuit it's alleged that Moody initially believed he was chasing someone other than Thomas. Radio transmissions in a video/audio of the chase obtained exclusively by WDHN/DothanFirst confirm that Moody thought he was chasing Jerry Jerome Hill, a convicted felon also known as "Booty Bop". Moody indicated he believed Hill had charges outstanding against him.
Katherine Thomas claims her son was killed when Moody jumped from his car and began firing shots before giving Christopher Thomas an adequate chance to surrender.
Some witnesses claim Moody ran toward Thomas' car and fired at nearly point blank range with the officer never in the path of Thomas' vehicle. Other witnesses dispute those claims.
The lawsuit accuses the Dothan Police Department of being neglectful in hiring Moody, who it alleges had multiple personnel violations while previously employed at the police department in Pensacola, Florida. In its lawsuit, the family is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.