Updated at 5:11 p.m.
The District of Columbia has agreed to a "substantial" monetary settlement in the fatal shooting by an off-duty police officer of 14-year-old DeOnte Rawlings, according to a new court filing and the Rawlings family's attorney.
In a one-page notice (PDF) filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday night, local solo practitioner Gregory Lattimer told the court that the two parties had reached a settlement. The details are confidential, but Lattimer said on Friday that the amount is "substantial" and reflects the "seriousness" of what happened.
In a statement, a representative of the D.C. attorney general's office said that the "settlement represents a fair and reasonable outcome."
"To avoid the uncertainty and unpleasantness of the ongoing litigation for the Rawlings family and the District of Columbia in the wake of this deeply unfortunate incident, we thought it was in the best interests of the public to resolve this matter amicably if possible," said Ariel Levinson-Waldman, senior counsel to the attorney general.
The notice comes two weeks after U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman ruled that the two off-duty police officers charged in the shooting couldn’t claim the immunity afforded to government employees acting in the course of their duties. Both sides were preparing for trial, which had been moved from Nov. 8 to January.
Rawlings’ father, Charles Rawlings, sued Metropolitan Police Department Officer James Haskel, a second officer and the District of Columbia in October 2007. Haskel fatally shot DeOnte Rawlings in September 2007 while trying to recover his stolen minibike, and claimed that Rawlings fired first.
Neither officer was on duty and they didn’t identify themselves as police officers when they approached Rawlings about the bike, according to the complaint. Both men were armed when they set out to look for the bike.
Charles Rawlings disputed that his son was carrying a gun, and no gun was recovered on the scene. In the Oct. 31 order, Friedman dismissed some claims but declined to dismiss the claim of conspiracy to commit assault and battery. He said it would be up to a jury to decide whether Haskel was the instigator or whether he was returning fire.
“It’s been a long, drawn-out process for the Rawlings family,” Lattimer said. “Taking all these things into account, Mr. Rawlings decided that it was time to bring some closure to it.”
A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Ariel Levinson-Waldman's last name.