After publicly releasing deputy body cam footage, Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva expressed “grave concern” over a March 14 deputy-involved shooting where an East L.A. man allegedly attempted “suicide by cop.”
David Ordaz Jr., 34, was killed by gunshot wounds suffered in the incident after deputies had coordinated the use of less-lethal weapons.
One of the deputies involved was relieved from duty with his peace officer power being suspended, according to Villanueva.
“I want to clearly state I have grave concerns regarding this deputy involved shooting,” Villanueva said in July 30 statement. “One of the deputies has been relieved of duty and their peace officer powers have been suspended, pending the outcome of this investigation.”
Audio of the dispatch call made by Ordaz’s sister shows that she was sitting in the car with him, revealing that Ordaz was intoxicated by methamphetamine and had intentions of being killed by law enforcement. The provided audio also shows that Ordaz had a knife in his possession.
“He hasn’t slept all night because he’s had these thoughts and we’ve been trying to help him through it,” Ordaz’s sister can be heard saying on the dispatch call. “He’s also talked about a suicide by cop, so I am afraid for that.”
The body cam footage shows deputies arriving on scene and asking Ordaz to step out of the car. Ordaz got out of the car with knife in hand, refusing to drop it and yelling at the deputies to shoot him.
Deputies can be heard saying, “We’re not here to shoot you, dude,” as they awaited the arrival of more deputies and a mental evaluation team.
Ordaz eventually began approaching the deputies as two “stun bags” were shot at him. After briefly retreating, Ordaz reacted to the “stun bag” shots by quickly moving toward the deputies, which prompted lethal shots to be fired.
Los Angeles County Fire Dept. transported Ordaz to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The investigation continues and Villanueva said the legality of the shooting will be reviewed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney ‘s Justice System Integrity Division. The FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office will also review the investigation results.
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