ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Downtown Albuquerque was a tense crime scene two years ago, all over a kitchen utensil.
Police said 19-year-old Chandler Barr came after an officer with a butter knife in his hand. He was shot twice in the stomach.
He survived the 2010 shooting and is now suing for damages.
"He was suffering a mental-health crisis, who was basically crying out for help by trying to cut his own arms with a butter knife," said Barr's attorney Cammie Nichols.
Both officers named in the suit, Leah Kelly and Jennifer Jara still work for the Albuquerque Police Department.
Kelly, who pulled the trigger on Barr, was investigated by an independent review officer who found she did nothing wrong.
"There's quite a few witnesses, and I expect there's going to be quite a bit of motion practice in this," said Assistant City Attorney Stephanie Griffin.
The City Attorney's Office filed its answer to the lawsuit Tuesday denying any wrongdoing.
"We're going to vigorously defend it," said Griffin.
APD Chief Ray Schultz, who's also named in the suit, said in a 2010 interview that the officers did the right thing.
Barr's attorneys aren't buying it. They say Kelly could have used other means instead of a gun.
"If that's the reasoning behind why Chandler Barr was shot, then any of us could be shot walking down the street if we just happen to be holding something in our hands that's 4 to 6 inches long," said Barr's attorney Brendan Egan.
Barr did face criminal charges for aggravated assault on a peace officer. That charge was later dismissed by a judge.
Both sides are expecting this civil case to take more than a year to go to trial.
The city has paid millions to settle lawsuits against APD over the last few years. In one case, the family of a burglary suspect shot in the back by an officer, got more than $1 million.
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