CORONA (CBSLA) — An attorney for the off-duty Los Angeles police officer who shot three people, killing one, inside of a Corona Costco Friday night has spoken out on behalf of his client.
According to attorney David Winslow, the officer was hit from behind without warning and was knocked unconscious as he held his 18-month-old son. Winslow said when his client awoke, he fatally shot Kenneth French, believing his life and the life of his child were in imminent danger.
“He was in fear for his son’s life,” Winslow said in a statement. “The only option was deadly force.”
But a longtime friend of the French family said that doesn’t make sense, because both French and his parents were shot.
“However, you’re a trained officer,” Karen Limbu told reporter Nicole Comstock. “Shouldn’t he be trained in the art of deescalation?”
She went on to say that even though the French was nonverbal and nonviolent, the family was not jumping to conclusions about what happened leading up to the shooting before seeing the security footage from the store.
“We want to keep an open mind, but show us something,” Limbu said.
Corona police say they’re collecting eyewitness accounts, reviewing security footage and investigating fully before they release any evidence.
The officer, a seven-year veteran of the force, has been placed on paid leave.