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Family Says Man Was Killed Over Seat Belt Stop

CLINTON, Tenn. (CN) - A Tennessee man was shot and killed after being pulled over on suspicion of not wearing a seat belt, his family claims in court.

Randall Wilcox was driving the morning of Oct. 13, 2012, when he was pulled over by Steven Williams, a deputy sheriff for Anderson County, Tenn., because Williams suspected Wilcox was not wearing a seatbelt, court records show.

Wilcox pulled into a driveway and got out of his car but Williams drew his gun, causing Wilcox to run across the front yard where he pulled over, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Heather Wilcox and Robin Banks.

Williams then chased Wilcox into the woods before firing his gun, the Nov. 23 lawsuit states.

"Having chased decedent across the yard and up a hill into a wooded area, Williams tackled and shot decedent three times," the complaint states. "Decedent did not die immediately, suffered significant and severe pain and expired as a direct and proximate result of Williams' shooting decedent."

The 6-page lawsuit alleges Williams was not properly trained on using a firearm.

Surviving spouse Heather Wilcox and Banks, the legal guardian of Wilcox's children, seek compensatory and punitive damages, as well as an injunction stopping deputies from drawing their guns while chasing citizens for suspicion of a misdemeanor crime.

Wilcox and Banks are represented by Robert Jolley, Jr. in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Anderson County Sheriff's Department did not immediately return a request for comment emailed Thursday morning.

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