TULARE, Calif. -- A family in Central California is fighting for justice after their loved one was shot and killed by police officers in April.
In tears, Armando Villegas shared the pain he continues to bear since the death of his brother, Joel Villegas, four months ago. He said Joel loved his children more than anything.
"Joel was always happy, always excited, he loved being an uncle, and he loved being a father," recalled Armando.
Joel's wife, Delilah Navarro, said his personality was one of a kind.
"Everybody that met him loved him. He was so funny, so loud, and so contagious," said Delilah.
On April 16, Joel was shot by police officers in Tulare, just north of Bakersfield. Investigators say officers were responding to a call of a man threatening to throw a knife at family members.
Officers say they approached Joel, who started running away from them while armed with the knife. The chase ended when at least one officer opened fire.
Recently, attorney Joshua Henderson filed a claim against the city of Tulare and the two officers involved, Daniel Bradley and Adan Barragan. Henderson shared an officer-worn body camera video of the incident.
In the video, Bradley is seen running after Joel, asking him to put down the knife. However, Joel continued running.
Moments later, multiple shots are fired by officers, hitting Joel.
"It was clear that this was not a justified shooting. There was no threat to the officers or the public. It happened in an open space while he was running away. He was shot in the back," explained Joshua.
Joel's family says while nothing will bring him back, they will keep fighting for justice and keep his memories alive.
"Today is my mom's birthday, and he is supposed to be at the cemetery with us, but he is not going to be there," Armando said.
The family says it will keep fighting for justice and keep his memories alive.
KFSN-TV, ABC7's sister station in Fresno, reached out to the Tulare Police Department in response to the complaint.
They said the two police officers involved in the shooting have remained on paid administrative leave pending the completion of both the California Department of Justice investigation and the Tulare Police Department administrative investigation.
A GoFundMe account was created to help Villegas' family.