Settled: $500K to family of woman fatally shot by off-duty Galveston police officer

By John Suayan | Feb 11, 2019


GALVESTON – A federal lawsuit arising from a fatal 2017 shooting involving an off-duty Galveston police officer reportedly reached its conclusion earlier this month.

Recent Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas records indicate that mediation for the suit brought by the family of Toni Jo Collins was held on Feb. 1 and “the case was settled” with the decedent’s survivors for almost half a million dollars.

As previously reported in The Southeast Texas Record, Collins’s family sued Galveston after patrolman Evan Sumner Fraley shot her to death unprovoked in an alley on Mar. 9, 2017.

The 29-page suit, which was filed on July 13, 2018, asserted that Collins, who was accompanied by a male companion at the time of the incident, “was not fleeing, had not been suspected of any serious crime, and did not possess a weapon.”

According to the original petition, Fraley acted “in the course and scope of his duties as a City of Galveston police officer, under color of state law though he was off-duty.”

Fraley and his employer formally responded to the litigation in late September 2018, insisting that Collins resisted arrest and physically assaulted him. Their 7-page answer argued that the officer “reasonably feared his life was in immediate danger” and “he shot Toni Jo Collins to stop her unlawful assault.”

The law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP in Houston represented the defendants.

Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas Case No. 3:18-CV-0198

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