SAN DIEGO — The sister of a Lakeside man, who was killed by FBI agents in backcountry of Idaho in 2013 during a search for abducted teenager Hannah Anderson, has filed a $20 million lawsuit.
Lora Dimaggio recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming she wants closure, her attorney C Keith Greer told FOX 5.
FBI tactical agent shot her 40-year-old brother James Lee Dimaggio from about 100 yards away after he fired two rounds in the air from a rifle in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. The fatal shooting happened while the agents were moving in to arrest him on August 10, 2013. Dimaggio was shot six times, once in the head, once in the heart and four times in the arms and upper torso.
The lawsuit claims the FBI hostage team stalked and executed him.
Greer has questions about Anderson’s kidnapping and whether killing James Dimaggio was really necessary. Anderson is the only witness left who knows whether the he deserved to die that way, Greer said.
“[Hannah] witnessed every aspect of it,” said Greer. “Hannah has said several times that she talked to Jim about getting the gun, firing three shots in the air for an SOS…He picks up the gun and this whole time the FBI is surrounding him. He picks up the gun, fires a shot in the air and then after that is gunned down.”
The personnel had tracked DiMaggio and the El Capitan High School student to the remote locale about 40 miles from Cascade based on tips from a group of horseback riders who had spotted the suspect and abducted teen.
Hannah, who was 16-years-old at the time, had gone missing a week earlier. The day after she disappeared, a fire that authorities later determined had been started with time-delay incendiary devices burned down DiMaggio’s home in rural southeastern San Diego County.
Firefighters found the bodies of Hannah’s mother, 44-year-old Christina Anderson, and 8-year-old brother, Ethan, in the burned out log cabin-style house and a garage.
Hannah was unaware that her mother and brother had died until after her rescue, according to sheriff’s officials.
All evidence surrounding the death of DiMaggio indicated that the agents who shot him acted in self-defense and were legally justified in doing so, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Valley County, Idaho, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
The officers believed DiMaggio was shooting toward them when they opened fire, according to a joint statement issued by the agencies.
According to friends of the Andersons, DiMaggio, a longtime close friend of theirs, seemed to have developed an infatuation with the teen prior to the kidnapping and murders.
Known as “Uncle Jim” to Hannah and her brother, DiMaggio frequently helped the children’s mother with the children after their father took a job out of state.
According to search-warrant records, Hannah exchanged 13 text messages with DiMaggio on the day of her abduction. Hannah said in a television interview that the communications were about where he could pick her up from cheerleading camp that day.
“You look at this evidence, you look at Hannah’s reactions after the funeral. You know they cause questions,” Greer said.
Greer says the over $20 million lawsuit isn’t about the money but closure.
Hannah and her father Brett are listed among the key witnesses who will be deposed in court.