ELSMERE, Ky. -- The parents of a 21-year-old man shot and killed by an Elsmere police officer are saying their son wasn't perfect, but he wasn't trash either.
The Godawa family filed a lawsuit Monday over his shooting death at the hands of an Elsmere police officer.
Don and Tina Godawa say they want answers in their sons June death, and the Elsmere Police Department isn't giving them any.
Police say Michael Godawa got into a struggle with Officer David Byrd outside the Finish Line Bar and Grill on Dixie Highway in Elsmere.
Byrd, a bike patrol officer, was investigating Godawa for a possible DUI, according to police. They say Godawa tried to flee the scene, hitting Byrd with his car. That's when the officer fired one shot. Godawa tried to flee again, striking a utility pole.
The Dixie Heights High School graduate was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.
Godawa's parents say there was no reason for the officer to shoot him. They're arguing police have blocked their efforts to get more information on the case.
"If he was wrong, he should have went to jail. I would have rather picked up a phone and talked to my son through a glass window and visit him at a jail than to have to go into Cooper's Funeral Home and to lay across his body and tell him goodbye. This has been so devastating for me," said Don Godawa.
Officer Byrd has been placed on paid administrative leave by the Elsmere Police Department. The Erlanger Police Department is handling the investigation. They had no comment.
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