Family of man shot, wounded by deputy in La Puente announces lawsuit against LASD

The family of Isael Orellana said he was shot while he was experiencing a mental health crisis.

Leo Stallworth Image
Tuesday, May 7, 2024
Family of man shot by deputy in La Puente announces lawsuit
The family of Isael Orellana said he was shot while he was experiencing a mental health crisis.

LA PUENTE, Calif. (KABC) -- The family of a man who was shot and wounded by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in La Puente announced a lawsuit against the department, claiming deputies used excessive force while the man was experiencing a mental health crisis.

The incident happened on May 3, 2024, in the 600 block of Willow Avenue when deputies were responding to a call about a family disturbance. When they arrived, Isael Orellana was outside the home arguing with family members, according to LASD.

"As deputies attempted to detain the suspect, he armed himself with a metal paint roller, which he used as a weapon," the sheriff's department said.

Investigators said Orellana raised the paint roller toward the deputies. That's when one deputy opened fire, wounding the man.

"[I believe] it's an injustice how the police officers, deputies in this circumstance, treated my husband and my family," said Orellana's wife Margarita Navarro, speaking in Spanish during a press conference Monday.

In video shared with Eyewitness News, you can see LASD deputies with their guns drawn toward Orellana, who was seen holding the paint roller. Sheriff's officials said the deputies ordered Orellana several times to drop the paint roller, but said he refused to comply.

"They deployed pepper spray but were still unsuccessful in gaining compliance," said LASD.

Navarro said she, her family, and a neighbor called 911 at least three times, saying her husband was having a mental health crisis at the home. She claims when deputies arrived, they were immediately aggressive.

"That night was terrible for us," said Navarro, who said her entire family was there during the shooting, including her neighbors and her young daughter.

She said deputies told them to go inside and said they were "treating her family very inhumanely" and that the incident "traumatized them."

"Police officers cannot shoot and kill people merely because someone is not complying, they must be faced with an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury," said the family's attorney Christian Contreras.

"Excessive force in violation of Mr. Orellana's 4th Amendment rights and intentional infliction of emotional distress on the family for engaging in conduct, which almost killed their father right in front of their eyes."

The sheriff's department released a statement following the family's announcement about the lawsuit.

The statement read in part, "The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has not officially received this claim but takes all deputy-involved shootings seriously. With any deputy-involved shooting, there is a thorough, multi-level review process ..."

Attorneys for the family said the lawsuit does not specify a damage award, saying that will be for a jury to decide if the case goes to trial.