Lawsuit reveals new details about parking lot shooting - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Lawsuit reveals new details about parking lot shooting

Robert "Dutch" Schwerin Robert "Dutch" Schwerin

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - An explosive lawsuit surfaced Tuesday, filed by the family of a man shot to death in a Cordova parking lot. 

The lawsuit paints our first picture of what happened on a February night that began as any other night for two strangers.  It ended with one of them dead.  The other, charged with 2nd Degree Murder.

According to the lawsuit: after dinner with his family, Robert "Dutch" Schwerin went to his truck, but he couldn't get in because a Hummer was parked too closely.

Then Katheryn Coleman came out, and according to the suit became "enraged" over a light cover from the Hummer that she believed was moved by Schwerin.  Someone went back into the restaurant to get her husband Ray Coleman.

After words were exchanged, the suit says Coleman grabbed a handgun from his car and "recklessly placed his loaded gun in Dutch Schwerin's mouth before moving back."

A bystander begged Coleman not to shoot the father in front of his three children.  But Coleman fired, hitting Schwerin in the chest and killing him.

The suit says immediately after the shooting, "Coleman fanned the gun in a circle so as to threaten all present." 

He also threatened Schwerin's son who was trying to help his dying father.

Coleman's attorney, Leslie Ballin disagrees with the picture painted in the lawsuit.  He says his client fired in self defense.

"There are various witnesses and depending on which witness you talk to you get a different version of what that person perceived," Ballin said.

Attorney Gary Smith maintains Schwerin did nothing to provoke the attack.

"We do not believe that anyone who was there independent of these two families, will verify Coleman's contention that it was self defense," Smith said.

Two different pictures of the night that forever changed the lives of two families.

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