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Off-Duty LAPD Cop Violated Policy In Fatal Costco Shooting

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Off-duty LAPD Officer Salvador Sanchez shot and killed Kenneth French and wounded French's parents after an altercation at a Costco in Corona. (Courtesy of NBCLA)
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The Los Angeles Police Commission ruled today that an off-duty LAPD officer violated policy when he shot and killed an unarmed and intellectually disabled man last June in a Corona Costco.

The commission agreed with LAPD Chief Michel Moore’s determination that Officer Salvador Sanchez had no justification for shooting 32-year-old Kenneth French and wounding both of his parents on June 14. Sanchez opened fire after French hit him in the back of the head while the officer was standing in a food-tasting line holding his 18-month-old son.

The chief’s report to the commission noted that Sanchez had claimed to the department’s Use of Force Review Board that he believed he had been shot and that French had a black handgun in his right hand. The Review Board said it couldn’t find any information that would support Sanchez’ contention: no other witnesses saw a handgun, and no objects were recovered from the scene that resembled a firearm.

In addition, the Review Board was presented evidence that French was moving away from Sanchez at about the time the officer opened fire.

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It’s now up to Moore to decide on what level of discipline to impose on Sanchez.

The case garnered widespread attention; it was later determined that Sanchez started shooting less than four seconds after French struck him, firing 10 shots. Besides fatally wounding French, Sanchez shot French’s father Russell once in the back. Another bullet struck French’s mother Paola, who spent more than a week in a coma.

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