NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The mother of a Tennessee man who authorities say was killed by bounty hunters filed a wrongful death lawsuit against seven men charged with her son's death and two bail bond companies.
The lawsuit filed by Anita Jenkins this week says bounty hunters killed her 24-year-old son in a case of mistaken identity.
Her son and three other men were sitting in a car in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Clarksville when bounty hunters rushed toward the vehicle with weapons drawn and began to break out its windows, the lawsuit says.
The driver of the vehicle, where her son was a passenger, attempted to flee because the men in the car thought they were being attacked by gang members, the court papers say. That's when the bounty hunters opened fire, fatally shooting Jalen Milan in the back and chest and wounding another man in the car before chasing the car for nearly 7 miles (11 kilometers). The father of three small children died shortly after he was shot.
Police have previously identified him as Jalen Johnson. His parents say his last name is Milan.
The bounty hunters were sued on several additional grounds, including assault and battery, false imprisonment and negligence. Eagle Bonding and Keessee Bonding were also named in the suit, accused of negligently hiring and training the seven men.
A message for an attorney for Eagle Bonding was not returned. A woman who answered the phone at Keesee Bonding said she didn't know anything about the lawsuit.
The bounty hunters face charges including murder in connection with Milan's death on April 23.
Police say none of the men in the vehicle targeted by the bounty hunters had outstanding warrants. It's not clear how the bounty hunters came to be at the Wal-Mart parking lot or why they believed the man they were looking for was in the vehicle carrying Milan. Police are giving limited information while the case is still under investigation.
Online court records show that only two of the seven men charged have attorneys. Those lawyers did not return messages seeking comment. All seven are scheduled to be arraigned next month.
Clarksville is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Nashville, near the Tennessee border with Kentucky.