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San Diego pays $500,000 to settle lawsuit involving boy shot by off-duty officer

July 22, 2011 | 10:13 am

The city of San Diego has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of a young boy shot by an off-duty police officer in a "road rage" incident in 2008 in which the officer and the boy's mother faced criminal charges.

The payment, authorized by the City Council, ends the lawsuit brought by Luis Silva on behalf of his son Johnny, who was 8 years old when he was shot by off-duty officer Frank White in a controversial incident in an Oceanside parking lot.

The boy was riding in a car driven by his mother, Rachel Silva, when Silva and White became entangled in a confrontation that ended up with White firing five shots. Silva was hit twice in the arm, the boy once in the leg.

White asserted that Silva had become enraged and tried to ram her car into his and that he fired to stop her and protect himself and his wife. He said he identified himself as a police officer before firing; Silva said she did not hear such a warning.

Court evidence showed that Silva was driving drunk. She pleaded guilty to felony child endangerment and was sentenced to five years' probation. Her husband was a Marine stationed in Iraq when the incident occurred.

White was charged with brandishing a weapon but found not guilty by a jury. After an internal investigation by the San Diego police, he was returned to duty.

Under the settlement, the payment will be invested, with the boy, now 12, receiving annual stipends.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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