LAS CRUCES, N.M.—A federal judge is hearing testimony in the trial of a wrongful death suit against Las Cruces and a police officer for the 2010 fatal shooting of a man holding a sword.

According to the Las Cruces Sun-News (, the suit filed on behalf of 24-year-old Lance Hummell's family seeks more than $14 million in damages.

The suit alleges that police were grossly negligent in shooting Hummell with indifference to his constitutional rights.

Both officers who responded to a call about an irate man with a sword said they feared for their lives when they encountered Hummell.

A witness testified Monday that Hummell didn't have time to act on an officer's command to not move before he was shot, but Officer Horacio River said Hummell had that opportunity.