A suspect armed with harmless airsoft guns was shot and killed by fearful sheriff’s deputies in West Valinda Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
People at the scene identified the deceased man as Junior Hernandez. They said he lived with his grandmother, but was being evicted the day he was killed, reported
Deputies were called to the 1200 block of Stichman Avenuey around 5:45 for a call about a family disturbance, reported The LA Times.
Family members told authorities Hernandez may have been under the influence of drugs.
Investigators said the 40-year-old man had locked himself in a bedroom and then climbed out of the window.
The officers were incapable of distinguishing the sound of a harmless airsoft gun with the explosion of gunpowder made by a real gun.
“As the deputies arrived in the backyard, they observed the suspect who was armed with what appeared to be a handgun in one hand and a rifle in the other,” Lt. Rodney Moore said. “The disturbing party fired two rounds from the handgun at the deputies. Fearing for their lives and safety, the deputies fired multiple rounds at the suspect.”
Hernandez was shot multiple times in the upper body and pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities said the weapons turned out to be airsoft guns.
The two deputies involved in the shooting were not injured by the air propelled plastic pellets.
Witnesses questioned why so many shots were necessary.
“There were five additional shots. Four after. So five is good enough to kill a person. By the time, I got from the garage to the curb – four more shots went out. Why? Why did these shots come afterward,” William Archulta said.
Per standard policy for deputy-involved shootings, multiple agencies are involved in the investigation of the incident, including the coroner’s office, the sheriff’s homicide bureau, the internal affairs bureau, the department’s office of inspector general and the district attorney’s office.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)