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Ex-LAPD officer charged with fatal shooting of disabled man in Costco

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Paola French and son Kenneth French (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Authorities arrested an ex-Los Angeles police officer on Monday in connection with the shooting death of a disabled man at a California Costco store in 2019.

What are the details?

Former Officer Salvador Sanchez, 30, faces charges of voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

In 2019, Sanchez — while off-duty — was said to have shot unarmed 32-year-old Kenneth French, who suffered from a mental handicap and was nonverbal.

French's parents, Russell and Paola, were both seriously wounded in the shooting that took their son's life.

A criminal complaint states that Kenneth was at the store in Corona, California, with his parents when the incident unfolded.

Dale Galipo, an attorney for the French family, said that Kenneth "may have pushed Sanchez," according to NBC News.

Sanchez's attorney, David Winslow, said that Kenneth French "violently attacked" the off-duty officer and knocked him to the ground while he was shopping with his wife and holding his baby.

Of the incident, Winslow said, "[Sanchez] was also knocked unconscious momentarily. At the time of the incident, he believed he was protecting himself and his baby from being killed."

According to the Washington Post, Kenneth French and his parents were shopping when the 32-year-old "allegedly slapped an off-duty Los Angeles police officer in the head while standing in line for food samples."

At that point, the outlet reported, Sanchez — who was holding his baby at the time — "took out his department-issued handgun and fired about 10 times, killing French, injuring French's parents, and sending bullets flying through the crowded wholesale store."

Russell French, who was shot in the chest and lost a kidney as a result of the shooting, said that he "begged" Sanchez not to fire on his "sick" son.

What else?

NBC News reported that after reviewing the shooting, the Los Angeles Police Department determined that the use of force was unreasonable and violated department policy, and also pointed out that it remains unclear whether Sanchez was fired or resigned amid the outcry.

The Post report also added that bodycam footage from Corona police saw Sanchez telling responding officers that he believed Kenneth French had a gun and had shot Sanchez, so he fired back.

"He later described to investigators the gun he said French was holding as a 'small black compact firearm,'" the outlet added. "But an LAPD investigation concluded that no witnesses saw a gun in [Kenneth's] hand and no firearm was recovered at the scene."

The LAPD also found that Sanchez was approximately 20 feet away from Kenneth when he fired on the intellectually disabled man, fatally striking him in the back.

Authorities arrested Sanchez on Monday in Riverside County and set his bail at $155,000. He is due to appear in court on Wednesday.

In a statement on the arrest, Attorney General Rob Bonta said the charges were about "pursuing justice after an independent and thorough review of the evidence and the law."

"Ultimately, any loss of life is a tragedy and being licensed to carry a gun doesn't mean you're not accountable for how you use it," he added. "No matter who you are, nobody is above the law."

Costco shooting: Charges filed against off-duty LAPD officer in fatal 2019 shooting of unarmed man www.youtube.com

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