WILLOWBROOK (CBSLA.com) — A short pursuit followed by gun shots.
When it was all over, an unarmed man was dead.
Sheriff’s deputies say the man, now identified as 36-year-old Jose De La Trinindad, was reaching for a gun.
Tonight, De La Trinidad’s widow, Rosie, tells CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Cristy Fajardo, there is a logical explanation for her late husband’s arm movement.
Due to an old injury, De La Trinidad’s arm hung at an angle. She described her husband as a loving father of two girls who held down two jobs — he worked for Costco and the city — to support his family.
“I want to know what I’m supposed to tell my daughters,” says a grief-stricken De La Trinidad. “What am I supposed to tell them? Do I tell them the people I tell them to trust, the people we go to for help…killed their father? For no reason.”
Jose left a Quinceanera Saturday night with his brother. To make sure he got home okay.
Deputies tried to pull the brother over, for a code violation. But deputies said De La Trinidad’s brother inexplicably sped off.
After a brief chase, the car stopped in the 1900 block of E. 122nd Street in Willowbrook and De La Trinidad got out of the vehicle.
To deputies, it looked like he was raising his arm to go to his waistband for a weapon — and they shot him.
Says Rosie, “He put his hands up, like he was told. And there are plenty of witnesses there who witnessed it. But they are terrified.”
His wife believes he simply got out of the car because he wanted no part of the chase.
She says he was just trying to do the right thing — he wouldn’t have wanted any part of a chase with police. And she says the decision to get out of the car should not have cost him his life.