A Chicago Police officer whose service weapon was used by a fellow CPD officer to commit suicide has denied claims in a lawsuit that her actions contributed to the officer’s death.
Officer Danielle Deering denied that she left her gun unsecured and that her failure to do so was a factor in the death of Ruby Falcon, who committed suicide inside Deering’s Southwest Side home on July 30, 2016, according to court documents filed Tuesday.
Deering is also aiming for the suit to be thrown out.
Deering and Falcon, 31, had gone out drinking at several suburban bars before going to Deering’s home to meet other Chicago Police officers, an investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times found last year.
While at the house, Deering removed her holstered service weapon and put it on her kitchen table, according to the Sun-Times. Falcon then took the gun, put it to her head and pulled the trigger.
Falcon’s family filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court in August, claiming misconduct by Deering and the city led to Falcon’s death. The dead woman’s family also accused Deering of failing to secure her weapon properly.
On Tuesday, Deering responded to the suit for the first time.
In the court filing, Deering admitted to carrying her loaded service weapon to the bars and agreed that a bullet from her gun struck and killed Falcon. However, she denied that she had removed the loaded gun from her holster before Falcon used it to kill herself and that she failed to properly secure the weapon.
In response to a statement from attorneys representing Falcon’s family, Deering also denied that she was the one who shot Falcon.
Falcon’s death was ruled a suicide by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office and an investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority found no evidence of foul play by any officer at the house,including Deering, on the morning of Falcon’s death.
Deering was also cleared of wrongdoing by IPRA for not securing her weapon, because the only guests in Deering’s home were Chicago Police officers.
Chicago Police, following an IPRA recommendation, suspended Deering for 10 days, though she appealed the ruling and had not served it as of the Sun-Time’s reporting last year.
In documents filed Tuesday, Deering’s attorneys said any injury to Falcon was self-inflicted and asked the court to dismiss the suit with prejudice, according to court records.