January 1, 1982
October 2, 2018
Age at Death:
Lajauna Phillips was a 36-year-old mother of three young children. She lived in Helendale, an unincorporated city in the Victor Valley area of California's San Bernardino Valley.
Ms. Phillips was shot and killed by a deputy on a street in Victorville, California, on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. Police officials were vague on what happened. A statement from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office said that deputies were called to a business parking lot, of Best Auto Sales, a used car dealer. She was reportedly “fighting with another subject,” and remained uncooperative behind the wheel and the deputy pepper sprayed her. Authorities said a visibly upset Ms. Phillips tried to hit a deputy with her car. An attorney, Sharon Brunner, who was hired by Phillips’ family, has a big problem with the authorities' account of the shooting. The media reported Ms. Phillips upset about the working condition of a vehicle she had previously purchased from the car dealership. Witnesses reported that she threatened the lives of employees at the business and subsequently punched a male subject in the face. The wife of the man who was assaulted called 911 to report the incident while Ms. Phillips remained at the scene. Deputies arrived, made contact with Ms. Phillips, and the deputy learned through a record check she had a misdemeanor arrest warrant out for driving with a suspended license. The deputy informed Ms. Phillips of the warrant, causing her to become uncooperative. She got into her vehicle, and the deputy ordered her several times to exit her vehicle. She ignored the commands to exit her vehicle, leading the deputy to deploy pepper spray into her vehicle. She then attempted to drive toward the deputy and the deputy fired his service weapon toward her in self defense. She was struck and died of her injuries. The deputy was not hurt, and the individual involved in the altercation with Ms. Phillips decline medical attention. Source: https://247headline.com/helendale-woman-dead-after-victorville-deputy-involved-shooting/ and https://www.vvdailypress.com/news/20200205/da-deputy-justified-in-2018-victorville-shooting-that-killed-lajuana-phillips?rssfeed=true
Was justice served?
No. The deputy was cleared of any wrong doings, and the Phillips family sued. The family and the county settled in May 2019 on $2.6 million — $2.1 million for her three children, and $500,000 for her mother. Ms. Phillips’ children's father died before the settlement was reached.