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Different stories told after deputy shoots black man dead in home in L.A. County

Family demands answers after deputy shoots black man dead in home

Lancaster, California — A man was shot and killed by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies in Lancaster early Thursday morning. And authorities and the family have different versions of what happened, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Michael Thomas, 62, was killed in his living room after deputies responded to reports of domestic violence inside the home.

According to deputies, Thomas came to the door but refused to comply with their orders.

His fiancée, Kimberly, told CBS L.A., "I heard Michael say, 'I have a right to not let you in my house.'"

However, her account differs from those of deputies from there on.

The sheriff's department says Thomas struggled with deputies and reached down to try to take one of their guns, prompting one of the deputies to shoot. 

Kimberly says Thomas was only trying to turn away from the deputies.

The family's attorney, Bradley Gage, said Thomas didn't have a weapon and wasn't hurting his fiancee. Family members said the two were only having a verbal argument and there was no reason for Thomas to be detained in the first place.

"That's exactly why we have a Fourth Amendment," Gage said. "It's to avoid the kinds of illegal searches and seizures where the police come into people's homes and harm them or, here, kill them."

L.A. County sheriff's deputies aren't required to wear body cameras.

The L.A. County Office of the Inspector General is investigating the shooting.

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