PICO RIVERA (CBSLA.com) — Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed an armed parolee after he held a woman hostage while waging an 8-hour standoff at a Pico Rivera home.
The woman’s husband was also killed outside the family’s home in the 9000 block of Rosehedge Drive, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported.
The incident began when deputies spotted the suspect, a 24-year-old parolee wanted for stealing a car, at 5:30 p.m. Friday, LACSD spokesperson Nicole Nishida said.
The man — identified as Cedric Ramirez — fled from deputies and opened fire, prompting them to fire back, Nishida said.
The parolee ran a block and ended up at the home of 60-year-old Lorraine Mendoza and her 54-year-old husband, Frank, according to their son.
At some point, Frank Mendoza Sr. stepped out of the home and was shot. Moments later, he died of his injuries in the front yard.
Neighbor David Gallardo said the victim’s grandchildren — ages 8 and 10 — saw the shooting: “They were ducking behind a car in front of the house. The cops had them stand right there and then that’s when their dad tried to come out. And they all saw the father go down.”
The parolee proceeded to run into the house and Lorraine Mendoza, being the only person left inside, was taken hostage.
Nearby residents were evacuated as a SWAT team spent hours working to negotiate with the parolee.
Later that night, a man approached CBS2’s Stacey Butler and said the suspect wanted to talk to a reporter.
Butler spoke to the man she believed to be the suspect by cellphone.
“A man walked over to our live truck,” Butler reported, “he said the suspect wants to talk to you. I took the phone and spoke to the man.”
He told Butler he wanted to convey a message.
“He wanted me to tell everyone he loves his three daughters,” Butler reported, “and he wants them to know that. He wanted them to know he was sorry.”
She asked him what it would take to release the hostage, and he “issued specific demands and to tell those demands to negotiators.”
Nishida said the suspect had asked deputies that he be escorted out of the home by two women he knew. Deputies refused.
At 1:30 a.m., SWAT entered the home and fatally shot the suspect and freed his hostage.
Lorraine Mendoza was taken to a hospital and was listed in good condition.
Officials told Butler that the suspect didn’t know the victim or his wife — he lived about a block away and chose the home at random.
Neighbors say the couple were “loving, church-going” people who often offered aid to those in need.
CBS2’s Art Barron picked up the story Saturday.
He spoke to Frank Mendoza’s grieving family members.
“He was trying to get outside, he was trying to get to the doorway,” said Mendoza’s son, Frank Jr., fighting back tears.
“I saw it all,” he added, “I got my kids out. I tried to get my parents out. My dad walked out.”
Frank Sr. got caught in the crossfire between sheriff’s deputies and the suspect.
“My dad is dead, my kids seen it,” he said.