Deputies Fatally Shoot Man in Willowbrook

A man was shot by deputies in the 1900 block of East 122nd Street at 10:25 p.m. Saturday.

By Jason Kandel and John Cádiz Klemack
|  Sunday, Nov 11, 2012  |  Updated 10:58 PM PDT
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John Cádiz Klemack/NBC4

A makeshift memorial was set up in Willowbrook for Jose De La Trinidad, who was shot by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies during a traffic stop on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.

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Sheriff's deputies fatally shot a passenger in a car during an attempted traffic stop who they thought had a weapon and tried to run away, deputies said on Sunday.

The deputy-involved shooting in the 1900 block of East 122nd Street occurred at 10:25 p.m. Saturday, said Deputy Don Walker of the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.

The driver led deputies on a chase that ended in a crash and a brief foot chase before he was arrested, officials said.

Deputies followed the vehicle east onto 122nd Street from Wilmington Avenue before the vehicle stopped abruptly in the 1900 block of East 122nd Avenue.

Two deputies fired their weapons at the man in the passenger seat who they said hopped out of the vehicle and raised his arm from his waistband, officials said.

The sheriff's department withheld the man's name, but family members, who put up a makeshift memorial near the spot where he died, identified him as Jose De La Trinidad, 32.

De La Trinidad was a father of two young daughters ages 3 and 6. He worked at Costco in Marina del Rey. His left arm was severed in an accident two years ago – leaving him with a metal rod.

“I don’t even know how I’m going to get the strength to tell my kids their father was murdered by policemen, the people they’re taught to to go for help,” said his wife, Rosie De La Trinidad.

“Why didn’t they give him a chance at life? Why couldn’t they shoot him in the leg, why did they have to shoot so many times?”

Chris Gomez, De La Trinidad's brother-in-law, said witnesses said they heard shots, but they did not hear deputies order him to stop or put his hands up.

David De La Trinidad, his fraternal twin brother, had no words.
“I feel empty," he said. "...But you know what? I have to be strong for my sister-in-law, my mother.”

Family members said that the driver of the car was De La Trinidad's older brother, Francisco. He was arrested after crashing his vehicle at El Segundo and Avalon boulevards, deputies said.

No weapon was found, Walker said.

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