LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The family of a man who died after being shot by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy last month at Harbor UCLA Medical Center has filed a claim against the county.
“The only thing they told us what that he was shot by a sheriff, female officer,” Maria Burgos, the victim’s sister, said.
Her brother, Nicholas Burgos, was shot Oct. 6. She said he had checked himself into the hospital just days before — seeking treatment for a mental health issue.
“They didn’t know how many times he was shot,” she said. “They didn’t go into details about why it happened or how it occurred, none of that. We didn’t know anything about it.”
Burgos was shot seven times and put on life support. He died almost a month later.
“We didn’t expect him to die,” Burgos said. “We didn’t expect that him seeking help for his mental issues, that, you know, this is gonna happen, that he was gonna get killed. We thought he was gonna be safe in the hospital.”
Authorities said there was a report of an incident at the hospital the day of the shooting. When deputies arrived, they alleged Burgos was destroying medical equipment and that he attempted to smash a window with a metal medical device.
The sheriff’s department said that a deputy then started helping medical staff by moving patients when Burgos allegedly turned his attention to the deputy and the deputy shot him.
Burgos said that she wishes the situation had been handled differently by the deputy.
“Well that the officer would have stand down — as she was advised to stand down — and not shot him,” she said. “They do have a team there at that hospital because they’re specialized with mental health patients, and they could have controlled the situation.”
The family has filed a claim against the county and have started a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses.
“He knew he needed that help and for someone to get up and say, ‘Yes, I do need that help, and I’m gonna go get it,’ and keep up with getting that help, it was something hard,” Burgos said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that it would not be releasing additional information about the deadly shooting as the case was still under investigation.