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A tentative $2.5-million settlement in officer shooting death of dancer who'd jumped into San Diego Bay

October 25, 2010 |  6:10 pm

A tentative $2.5-million settlement has been reached in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a Los Angeles  dancer who fell or jumped into San Diego Bay and then was fatally shot during a tussle with Harbor Patrol officers who pulled him from the water.

Steven Paul Hirschfeld, 37, had been hired as a dancer for a nighttime party cruise during gay-pride week in July 2008. After Harbor Patrol officers pulled him aboard their boat, he began fighting, according to an investigation by the San Diego County district attorney's office.

Hirschfeld allegedly grabbed the stun gun from one officer, and a second officer then shot him.

In declining to file charges against the officers, Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis said that Hirschfeld had a history of drug arrests, had steroids and amphetamines in his body and was "acting bizarrely."

Hirschfeld's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, saying that officers overreacted and should have been able to subdue the dancer without using deadly force.

Lawyers for the San Diego Unified Port District and the Hirschfeld family will go to court Wednesday to have the settlement approved.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego