Yanira Serrano Garcia, 18

Half Moon Bay, California
June 03, 2014

Agencies: San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office California

Cause of death: Not Yet Known

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Last updated: over 4 years ago


The family of a schizophrenic teenage girl fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy in Half Moon Bay filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against San Mateo County, seeking various damages for excessive force and unreasonable due process, court documents reveal.

Last month, District Attorney Steve Wagstaff concluded Deputy Menh Trieu was justified when he shot and killed Yanira Serrano-Garcia on June 3, saying he did so in defense of his own life.


But the family’s lawsuit filed Tuesday in Superior Court alleges Trieu, a nine-year veteran of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, had no justification for shooting the teen, and that he acted recklessly when he fired one shot into her chest.

Trieu, who officials said had not undergone a 40-hour state-certified curriculum focusing on mental illness, shot and killed Serrano-Garcia down the street from her home in the Moonridge Housing Complex.

Though Trieu will not face any criminal charges because Wagstaffe determined his actions were in line with officer safety standards, the family’s complaint countered he did not adhere to protocol when he got out of his car without waiting for other officers to arrive.

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