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Autopsy pending after deputy shooting in Willowbrook

November 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
An autopsy is pending on the body of an unarmed suspect fatally shot by two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies during an attempted traffic stop in Willowbrook on Saturday.

The family of 36-year-old Jose De La Trinidad is outraged. They're demanding answers as to why deputies fired on the unarmed father of two.

"It's not fair. I want to know why. Why? What am I supposed to do now?" said the suspect's wife Rosie De La Trinidad. "How do I tell my kids, who I teach to respect police, that they murdered his father?"

The shooting happened around 10:20 p.m. near 122nd Street and Wilmington Avenue in Willowbrook. Jose De La Trinidad and his brother were returning from a quinceañera when they were pulled over. The brother was driving the car.

According to L.A. County Sheriff's Det. Edmundo Hummel, deputies attempted to make a traffic stop. As the deputies approached the vehicle, De La Trinidad's brother took off.

After a short pursuit, the car stopped again. A few minutes later, De La Trinidad got out of the car.

"The passenger stepped out of the car and raised his arm from his waistband," said Hemmel. "Deputies, fearing for their safety and believing that the suspect was armed, fired upon him."

The shooting occurred right in front of Jorge Dominguez's home. He said people around the area heard about a dozen gunshots.

Family members say De La Trinidad was disabled after suffering a severe arm injury in a car accident. According to his wife, he kept his arm bent at his waist. His family wonders if that is what led the deputies to open fire.

"He did the right thing", said the suspect's brother-in-law, Chris Gomez. "He got out of the car. He started walking, didn't run, didn't do anything. Neighbors around here didn't hear the cops say freeze or halt. All they heard were shots."

The shooting remains under investigation.

Anyone with information regarding the case is urged to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.


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