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LA officer charged in fatal shooting of mentally ill man

Gavel (FILE)
Posted at 3:14 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 18:14:31-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California attorney general has filed manslaughter charges against a Los Angeles police officer who was off duty when he fatally shot a mentally ill man who was shopping with his parents in 2019.

Officer Salvador Sanchez was arrested Monday in Riverside County.

“Where there’s reason to believe a crime has been committed, we will seek justice,” said Attorney General Bonta. “That’s exactly what these charges are about: pursuing justice after an independent and thorough review of the evidence and the law. Ultimately, any loss of life is a tragedy and being licensed to carry a gun doesn’t mean you're not accountable for how you use it. No matter who you are, nobody is above the law.”

Sanchez was with his young son in a Costco in Corona when he was attacked from behind by 32-year-old Kenneth French. Sanchez was knocked to the ground and quickly opened fire, fatally wounding French and critically injuring French's parents.

Riverside County authorities had earlier declined to bring charges. It was not immediately clear if Sanchez has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.