The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says 80-year-old Eugene Mallory pointed a gun at a deputy, who then shot the elderly man dead in his Littlerock home in the Antelope Valley. Mallory's family and friends are saying something very different.

“How could that happen to someone like him?” says Robert Enrich, a former co-worker of Mallory's. “He was a gentle giant. He was a really nice guy.”

Enrich says he and Mallory's family now want Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey to thoroughly investigate the June 27 shooting.

The Sheriff's Department says Mallory was killed during a drug raid, in which deputies found marijuana, marijuana growing equipment, and Mallory pointing a gun at law enforcement. Enrich says that doesn't sound right to him.

Enrich worked with Mallory, a retired electronics technician with a top security clearance at Lockheed Martin, for nearly seven years. Describing Mallory as “very responsible” and a solid citizen, Enrich says, “How could a person have these attributes before he retired and now run a drug operation?”

Mallory lived in a multi-unit dwelling, says Enrich. He questions if other residents, not Mallory, were selling drugs — and his friend got caught in the middle of a very bad situation when a deputy charged into his bedroom at 7:30 a.m. on June 27.

It's a scenario that's not hard to believe.

In 2010, Sheriff's deputy Christopher Conley barged into a shack in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley with no warning and fired upon Angel Mendez and his pregnant girlfriend. Another deputy also fired shots into the shack.

Conley said he and a group of deputies were looking for a parolee. The two Lancaster residents survived, but Mendez's leg had to be amputated due to the severity of his gun shot wounds.

Read the L.A. Weekly cover story “Lucky to be Alive.”

After a quick investigation that relied almost entirely on the testimony of Sheriff's deputies with little independent investigation, L.A. County prosecutors cleared the deputies of any wrongdoing in the Mendez case.

Mendez has sued the Sheriff's Department in federal court, seeking millions in damages.

Mallory's friends and family are now pressuring L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey to take a hard look at what happened to the 80-year-old.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Patrick Range McDonald on Twitter at @PRMcDonald.

LA Weekly