Christopher Penley’s father files lawsuit

Slain boy’s father says he plans to sue Seminole sheriff’s office:

For those of you who may have forgotten, Christopher Penley was the Florida teen who was shot and killed by police for brandishing a pellet gun in a threatening matter at Milwee Middle School. At the time of the shooting police were not aware that it was a pellet gun as it was altered to look authentic. An investigation by the state ruled that the shooting was lawful.

Now Christopher Penley’s father, Ralph Penley, has filed a lawsuit in hopes the SWAT officer Lt. Michael Weippert will be fired. Weippert was the officer who shot and killed Penley.

“The guy that murdered my son is still on the sheriff’s department squad,” Penley said, choking back tears in a telephone interview.

“We’re gonna pursue this now because I’ve waited a long, long time,” he said.

The civil lawsuit alleges that Weippert, the SWAT team member who shot Christopher Penley, violated the boy’s civil and constitutional rights and acted with premeditation, Keith Parker, a private investigator for the family said last week.

“(Weippert) was not reacting to the assailant. He had already plotted out that he was going to shoot him,” Parker said. “They had that bathroom surrounded. They had enough fire power to start a war. That kid wasn’t going anywhere.”

The family is also suing for one count of negligent retention, claiming Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger should have known that Weippert allegedly has a mental condition from past shootings and should not have been allowed to remain on the SWAT team, Parker said.

I know that grief can cloud your judgment so I’m not trying to condemn Mr. Penley but this lawsuit is clearly in the wrong. None of this would even be an issue if Christopher Penley had not brought the pellet gun to school, taken another student hostage, barricaded himself in the bathroom, then threatened police with the weapon. The only person responsible for Christopher Penley’s death is Christopher Penley.

4 thoughts on “Christopher Penley’s father files lawsuit”

  1. Your reasoning is too logical and uses waaaaaaay too much common sense to be valid Trench. I’m sure that your use of the most basic common sense has flabergasted and left totally confused a large segment of readers.

    I’m not a big fan of some SWAT tactics and uses of SWAT teams. This case isn’t one of those. I wonder if the parent of the child held hostage feels the same way as the criminal kid’s dad? Or any other parent with kids at the school?

    I would be thanking the officer that pulled the trigger and telling the dad that I was sorry for his loss….but to shut the hell up and maybe reflect on the fact that he most likely has some responsibility for his kid’s actions and death and he should probably thank HIS lucky stars that the other parents and students aren’t sueing HIM for raising such a screwed up little piece of garbage that ultimately put their children in serious danger.

    Just my opinion.


  2. You know what, you have no right saying what you said about the lawsuit being in the wrong. It was not Chris’s fault. How dare you say that! You dont even know him. He was nice, quiet and very funny. That SWAT person that shot him, had no right in his mind to shoot him where he did. Yes, I understand that he thought it was a real gun, but if he was gonna shoot him, why not in the arm or in the leg? That officer was in the wrong more than Chris was, and you, are more in the wrong than ANYONE saying what you said about it being Chris’s fault. You dont know what it was like to be him, to be in his situation. So how dare you. Chris was loving and a very unique person. What would you do if your son was shot in the head for having a fake gun? Think about it. WHAT WOULD YOU DO????????? Jerk you have no heart and no consideration for other people.


  3. You watch too much TV. Shooting someone in the arm or leg by police is not only almost impossible but it’s highly impractical.

    And I taught my son to know better than to take any kind of gun to school.


  4. “a screwed up little piece of garbage”

    Garbage, eh?

    Boy, with people like you it’s no wonder people like Chris Penley start to believe that about themselves and go self-destruct.

    I’m sure you are the perfect hardworking psychologically balanced model citizen. Good on you, bravi, bravi. A bit of a shame your little world can’t accomodate anyone less.


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