An off-duty cop fatally shot an unarmed, non-verbal man after an alleged argument, according to the Los Angeles Times.
On June 14, off-duty LAPD patrol officer #SalvadorSanchez shot and killed 32-year-old Kenneth French at a Costco Wholesale in Corona. Sanchez, who has worked for the force for seven years, was accompanied by his wife and their 18-month-old son at the time of the shooting. According to reports, Sanchez was holding his baby while waiting for a food sample of chicken teriyaki at the meat counter. Sanchez’s lawyer, David Winslow, said that’s when French knocked Sanchez temporarily unconsciousness.
According to witnesses, when Sanchez came to, he fired eight shots at French, who is mentally disabled, with a handgun. French’s mother and father tried to protect their son when Sanchez began shooting, leaving French’s mother, Paola, comatose. Now, the family fears she may not make it. Corona police Lt. Jeff Edwards told reporters he believes the shooting resulted from an argument. French’s family lawyer, Dale Galipo, says he isn’t sure why French hit Sanchez but mentioned French is “non-verbal” because of his mental disability.
He added that the victim recently stopped the medication, which controlled his mood.
The video footage has yet to be released, but French’s lawyer says he believes the man’s parents were also shot in the incident. Galipo is calling for the prosecution of Sanchez, saying the incident was not life-threatening enough to use excessive force. The LAPD has since placed Sanchez on administrative leave. His position as an officer will be decided on by the Southwest Division.