Family of man killed by deputy seeking damages
Three family members of a Portola man who was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy last year have filed a wrongful death claim against Plumas County.
Mariano Joseph Mauro, Jr., Anthony Joseph Mariano Mauro and Angelena Mauro are each seeking $2 million in damages for the death of their father, Mariano Joseph Mauro.
Mauro was fatally shot in the lobby of Eastern Plumas Health Care in Portola on Oct. 20, 2013, after a violent struggle with Deputy Tom Klundby.
Klundby, who was the only officer on the scene, responded to a 911 call by an EPHC staff member. The caller said Mauro had broken a window and barricaded himself in his room.
Mauro charged the deputy soon after he arrived on the scene and the struggle began.
An investigation by the Plumas County District Attorney’s Office found that the deputy acted lawfully in the shooting. The report, released Jan. 27, is being reviewed by the state attorney general.
In the confrontation that led to the shooting, the 53-year-old Mauro wrestled with the deputy. He managed to get ahold of the deputy’s Taser and baton. He also got his hands on the deputy’s holstered gun, firing a shot in the process.
In their claim against the county, Mauro’s children claim their father was retreating and trying to exit the hospital when he was shot.
The DA’s report stated the deputy fired the fatal shots after Mauro swung the baton at Klundby’s face, missing the deputy by inches.
The claim, submitted by Salinas attorney Stephen Wagner, also lists Klundby, Sheriff Greg Hagwood, EPHC CEO Tom Hayes and the hospital’s chief of staff Dr. Eric Bugna as being responsible for causing Mauro’s death.
Mauro’s children said the hospital “failed to provide safe premises and to properly follow (Welfare and Institutions code for a person with a mental health disorder).”
The claim is not a lawsuit. No suit had been filed by the Mauros as of the newspaper’s deadline.
Hayes said he wasn’t aware of the claim and that the hospital had not received anything from the Mauro family as of last week.
The Plumas County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to address the claim in closed session Tuesday, April 15.
Hagwood reiterated that the deputy took the appropriate action.
“The officer was left with no other choice,” Hagwood said. “The actions by Mr. Mauro compelled the deputy to take the actions he took.”