Nearly a month after a Hemet father of five was shot and killed by police in his own backyard, his wife is speaking out for the first time.
The grieving widow wants justice for her husband, whom Hemet police admit had nothing to do with why police were in their neighborhood in the first place.
“They take it very hard, like any child would with a father who has been ripped from their soul and their lives,” said Shameka Drye, the wife of the man who was shot by Hemet police last month.
Drye said she tells her five children that their father, 30-year-old Christian Drye, would never leave them. She says he was a very involved father.
It was the youngest of the five children – the couple’s 1-year old – who was home with Drye and her husband on Feb. 21, when she says Hemet police officers knocked on their door.
“I heard them say to him, ‘We’re looking for someone in your backyard.’ He says, ‘OK, I will go check.’ They tell him, ‘OK.’ He proceeded to the back,” Drye said.
Drye said that as a responsible gun owner, her husband informed the officers and they acknowledged that Drye was a licensed gun owner and was armed as he went to his backyard to check for anyone there.
Officers were investigating a recent theft in the neighborhood on South Harvard Street.
“I hear them yell, ‘Gun.’ I heard multiple shots and I seen my husband fall back to the ground,” Drye said.
Drye added that in the last moments of her husband’s life, she was treated like a suspect.
“I had a male police officer searching me on my own property as I’m screaming to my husband — ‘Please … baby, I love you. Don’t go, don’t leave us,’” Drye said.
Christian Drye later died at the hospital.
In a news release the next day, Hemet police said Drye was unrelated to the initial burglary investigation they were conducting.
Drye and her attorneys say they haven’t received any communication from police since his death.
“Did he even match the description? And if it’s the same person talking to police at the front door — who’s then walking out the back door to help them — then he gets shot, there’s a total breakdown in communication!” said Drye’s attorney, Dale Galipo.
Drye’s attorneys plan to file a lawsuit within the next 30 days.
“They ripped him from us. And they don’t have the audacity to not even let me touch his hand,” Drye said.
Drye knows nothing will bring her husband of 10 years back, but she vows to hold police responsible for what she says is his murder.
The officer involved in the shooting is on administrative leave.
NBC4 reached out to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for comment, but the department said it could not comment because the investigation is ongoing.
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