Kevin Callahan was killed in 2011 by a Suffolk police officer responding to a 911 call his brother made, saying there may have been a man with a gun in the house.

Suffolk County has agreed to pay a $1.75 million settlement to the family of a Selden man who was unarmed when he was shot and killed by a county police officer in his home in 2011.

Kevin Callahan, 26, was shot by a Suffolk police officer who was responding to a 911 call his brother, Christopher Callahan, made saying there may have been a man with a gun in the house. No gun was found at the scene after Kevin Callahan's death.

The Callahan family filed its federal civil rights lawsuit in 2012, claiming the officer used excessive force. The department had said the officer acted properly.

The officer who responded, Thomas Wilson, testified at trial that he became wedged in a door frame when entering Callahan’s bedroom and opened fire because he feared someone inside was grabbing his gun or was armed. Wilson said he continued firing through the door as he fell backward. Callahan was shot twice in the back and once in his chest.

A federal jury reached a verdict in favor of the county in 2015, but the family appealed on grounds that a judge issued improper instructions to the jury. A federal appeals court ordered a new trial in 2017. A federal judge then dismissed the case in 2022, citing in part that Wilson's use of force did not violate the law. Callahan's attorneys again appealed the decision and won.

Bruce Barket, one of the attorneys representing the Callahan family, said Christopher Callahan was relieved the case would not go to trial for a second time. His mother, Patricia Callahan, who was also a plaintiff, has since died, he said.

“We were satisfied, I guess, is the way to put it, with the resolution after what's been I think, close to 13 years” of litigation, said Barket, of Garden City.

Lou Civello, president of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association, said Wilson, who retired in 2020, acted appropriately.

"He was in fear for his life," Civello said. "Policing involves split-second decisions. It's part of the nature of policing."

Legis. Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), chairman of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee, which signs off on large settlements, announced the agreement after a committee meeting in Riverhead Thursday.

Trotta, who is represented by Barket in an unrelated lawsuit, recused himself from the vote. Representatives of Suffolk County Executive Edward P. Romaine did not respond to a request for comment.

The case was set to go to trial for the second time beginning June 12. Attorneys for the Callahan family filed a letter June 10 notifying the court that an agreement had been reached.

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