Timothy Hill was killed last year in a bizarre and horrifying police shooting over a pair of wet underpants that a couple of Hill’s neighborhood friends left on the trooper’s parked cruiser. The West Virginia State Police officer, B.D. Gillespie, was asleep at home, off duty, at the time of the prank, but when his wife alerted him to the incident, he suited up, called himself in on duty — and ended up shooting 18-year-old Timothy, his neighbor down the street, in the head and chest.
Those are the allegations spelled out in a lawsuit by Hill’s family, filed Tuesday, which calls Gillespie’s killing of the unarmed teen — who was not even involved with the wet underpants prank and did not trespass on Gillespie’s property on June 12 of 2014 — “atrocious, intolerable and so extreme and outrageous as to exceed the bounds of decency and morality,” according to a report in the Charleston Gazette-Mail newspaper.
The lawsuit also alleges that Gillespie, 40, had a petty personal vendetta against Timothy, who had turned 18 less than one month before he was shot and killed by the police officer who lived down the street in Kegley, West Virgina.
The family says that Gillespie was annoyed that Timothy would sometimes ride his dirt bike up and down the street and would often watch the teen through binoculars.
Hill’s parents say that Gillespie once singled them out for a $250 ticket, supposedly for leaving their garbage out for collection at a non-designated time and used the occasion to threaten them about their son, claiming that he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to people who “caught his eye,” a report in the West Virginia Record newspaper stated.
It was 11:51 p.m. on June 12 of last year when Gillespie called his headquarters to officially place himself on duty and search for whoever left the wet underpants on his cruiser. As it turned out, the soaked shorts were placed there by two of Timothy’s friends who had just taken a late evening swim.
But Timothy was not with the other two boys when they placed the wet undergarment on Gillespie’s police car. They met him afterward, at his home.
After searching the neighborhood for the underpants prank perps for nearly two hours in his cruiser, Gillespie, the suit says, came upon Timothy and his two friends standing in the driveway of Timothy’s home at about 1:30 a.m., the lawsuit says.
Timothy — who suffered from bipolar disorder as well as a neurological condition known as nystagmus, which causes odd, involuntary eye movements — had not been able to sleep that night.
After interrogating the three boys — and taking their picture, seen below — Gillespie told the other two to leave but detained Timothy Hill. At that point, claiming that Hill resisted being placed in handcuffs, the six-foot-three, 240-pound Gillespie pepper-sprayed five-foot-nine, 185 pound Hill in the face, then struck him in the head with his police baton.
A neighbor also joined in the struggle. The officer, the teen, and the neighbor rolled into a drainage ditch filled with water. At that point, the lawsuit says, the neighbor climbed out of the ditch — but instead of doing the same, Gillespie drew his service weapon and fired at Timothy, shooting him in the head, and then again in the chest, killing him, the lawsuit says.
The state trooper, according to the lawsuit, left Timothy face down in the ditch then called his fellow officers for help because he was worried how the Hill family would react when they saw their mortally wounded son.
[Image via WVVA-TV Screen Capture]