Federal Way restaurant owner suing Tacoma for millions over alleged police negligence

FEDERAL WAY — Federal Way Restaurant owner suing Tacoma for millions

The owner of the Federal Way restaurant Mediterranean Gyro Grill Jay Barbour filed a claim for $23 million dollars against the city of Tacoma.

Barbour was left paralyzed from the chest down after he was shot in a road rage shooting in June of 2022 at the intersection of Norpoint Way Northeast and 29th Street Northeast.

Barbour is represented by former Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist. Lindquist and Barbour claim Tacoma Police left suspected shooter 20-year-old Mason Taylor’s gun on the ground at a prior shooting scene five days before he shot Barbour.

“I think if Tacoma police department have done their job right, I would not be in a wheelchair,” Barbour said.

In the prior incident, Taylor had told police the gun belonged to his brother. The police report from that incident states the officer did leave the gun on the curb. It also says that officers didn’t wait for the alleged gun owner to come back to the scene.

That officer then told Taylor he would leave the gun on that curb on M Street. The officer then instructed Taylor to pick up the gun after they left, meaning his brother would pick it up. The officer also states in the report Taylor gave that gun to the right person.

“The officer didn’t exactly hand the gun back to the suspect. Instead, he placed the gun on the curb and told the suspect he could pick it up after they left. “Anyone could’ve picked that gun off the curb,” Lindquist said.

Lindquist tells KIRO 7 that not only did police give back a suspect their weapon, but Taylor should’ve never been in possession of a gun because he was a minor at the time of the shooting plus a suspect in another case.

“Under Washington law, you can’t possess a handgun when you’re under 21 unless under very limited circumstances,” Lindquist said.

Barbour says the past year has been the toughest in his life.

“I’ve not been able to sleep like before. I am in pain 24 hours.” Barbour said.

And he says that pain goes beyond his home.

“I’m not able to function or be there like before. That has also been very devastating. Very, very tough for me,” Barbour said.

Barbour says this points to a lack of training and he hopes this lawsuit will lead to some type of change.

“I would love for all police departments to retrain their officers and be aware that a gun should not be given back to a minor,” Barbour said.

KIRO 7 reached out to Tacoma Police for comment. A spokesperson with the department says they cannot comment on the matter.

The city of Tacoma sent this statement on the claim filed by Barbour.

“Our thoughts are with Jay Barbour and his family during this difficult time. We are currently reviewing this claim to determine appropriate next steps.”

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