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Federal Court Rules In Favor Of Tucson Officers In Shooting Death

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Tucson police officers are entitled to immunity in a 2014 shooting death.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the officers were entitled to a legal shield against a wrongful-death lawsuit filed in the fatal shooting Michael Duncklee. Duncklee was shot after he brandished a hockey stick against police.

At the time, Duncklee was trespassing in his old apartment after being evicted.

A trial judge had ruled that Duncklee's privacy rights were violated because the officers did not get a search warrant before entering the apartment. But the 9th Circuit said Duncklee had no expectation of privacy there because of the eviction.

The ruling said shooting Duncklee could be a legal use of deadly force under the circumstances.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.