W.Va. State Police shooting unjustified, Kohler family says

Family says bullet holes in front door disallows State Police statement

By Travis Crum/Lawrence Pierce

MAYSEL, W.Va. - Tammi Hicks wants to know why a West Virginia State Police SWAT team shot and killed her father, whom she calls a nonviolent man with no criminal record.

On June 26, the State Police fatally shot Richard Dale Kohler, 65. Troopers said Kohler refused to open his door, and then pointed a rifle at them when they pried his door open.

However, Hicks said she's never known her father to keep a gun inside his trailer, let alone be someone to want to hurt police. Kohler, she said, had severe hip problems and got around with the help of a cane.

"How could he be holding a cane in one hand and raising a rifle with the other?" Hicks said. "Dad wasn't that strong, he was disabled."

She also questions why a SWAT team was there for her father -- an alleged small-time drug dealer -- in the first place ...

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