Ryan LeRoux’s family files wrongful death lawsuit against Montgomery Co. officers

Author: Jess Arnold

Ryan LeRoux’s family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Montgomery County after a grand jury failed to indict the officers responsible for his shooting death.

21-year-old LeRoux was shot to death by Montgomery County Police in July 2021 after refusing to leave a Gaithersburg McDonald’s drive-thru and pay for his food.

On March 31, a Howard County grand jury said it will not charge the four officers responsible for shooting LeRoux. 

Howard and Montgomery counties have a partnership where if one sees a police shooting, the other investigates.

After the ruling came in, LeRoux’s family released a statement, saying in part, “Rhonda and I are deeply saddened that four Montgomery County Police Department officers met our African-American son’s cry for help with 23 shots fired. Ryan LeRoux was in the midst of a mental health crisis — not a crime. The MCPD knew that Ryan needed help — not bullets.”

They went on to say that they plan to hold MCPD accountable since they won’t face criminal charges.

The shooting happened in July 2021, when employees at a Gaithersburg McDonald’s called police for a man “trespassing,” saying he wouldn’t pay for his food or leave the drive-thru.

More than an hour later, Montgomery County Police officers responded. One noticed a gun in the front seat next to Ryan LeRoux and immediately pulled out his gun and called for backup.

Over the next 30 minutes, close to 20 officers worked to get LeRoux out of the car, guns drawn.

Seconds before the crisis intervention team arrived, officers say they saw LeRoux lean forward toward the gun and lift a dark object in his right hand. Four officers shot at him, killing him.

“They could have de-escalated that,” Ryan’s dad, Paul LeRoux said in October 2021. “They could have tended to him, and that never had to happen.” Read more at WUSA 9.

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