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Lawsuit filed in off-duty brawl, fatal shooting of Mo. firefighter by cop

Firefighter punched officer in the face during the struggle, resulting in several broken facial bones

By Tony Rizzo
The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A wrongful death lawsuit was filed Wednesday by the widow and parents of a Kansas City firefighter shot to death last year in a struggle with an off-duty police officer.

The suit was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court against Donald Hubbard and the ownership of the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, where Hubbard was working when Anthony Bruno was killed Dec. 1.

Bruno and his wife, Stephanie Bruno, were celebrating at their wedding reception when an altercation between Anthony Bruno and a cabdriver led to Bruno punching the driver. Bruno walked away "to clear his head," according to the lawsuit.

After the off-duty officer was summoned to the scene from another part of the hotel, Hubbard followed Bruno and caught up with him on a nearby street. There, according to the lawsuit, Hubbard forced Bruno to the ground and kicked him several times in the ribs.

The lawsuit says Hubbard ordered Bruno to put his hands behind his head, but Bruno said that if he did, his face would hit the sidewalk. The suit alleges that Hubbard then kneed Bruno in the back of his head.

Bruno then grabbed the officer "in an attempt to gain control of the situation," according to the suit. After flipping Hubbard onto his back, Bruno began punching him in the face. Hubbard then pulled out his firearm and shot Bruno twice, killing him. Police later said Hubbard suffered several broken facial bones.

Hubbard did not have a radio, pepper spray, Taser or other nonlethal weapons and did not "call for the assistance of the police or any other emergency services at any point during the altercation," the suit alleges.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount of actual and punitive damages.

A police department spokesman said they had not seen the suit and could not comment on behalf of Hubbard. Marriott officials did not return a call seeking comment.

Copyright 2014 The Kansas City Star

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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