Deputy Mistakenly Shot, Killed Innocent Homeowner During Standoff: Sheriff's Officials

Frank Mendoza was looking forward to retiring and spending time with his children, his son told NBC4

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A man who was inside his home when an ex-felon barricaded himself inside was mistakenly shot and killed by a deputy as authorities moved in to apprehend the suspect, sheriff's officials said. Kate Larsen reports from Pico Rivera for the NBC4 News at 11 on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2014. (Published Saturday, Aug 2, 2014)

    A deputy mistakenly shot and killed an innocent homeowner during a search for an armed ex-felon who had barricaded himself inside the victim's Pico Rivera house, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Saturday.

    Frank Mendoza was killed Friday night when the parolee allegedly broke into his home in the 9000 block of Rosehedge Drive and got into a shootout with deputies during an hours-long standoff, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

    Deputies entered the home in search of the suspected gunman, identified as 24-year-old Cedric Ramirez, and came across Mendoza, officials said.

    "Believing the man was Ramirez, a deputy fired two shots at that man. The man dropped unconscious in the doorway and was subsequently recognized to be one of the residents," said sheriff's Chief Bill McSweeney.

    Innocent Homeowner Killed in Standoff Was Close to Retiring: Son

    [LA] Innocent Homeowner Killed in Standoff Was Close to Retiring: Son
    The son of a homeowner who was killed during a shootout between an ex-felon who barricaded himself in the victim's home and SWAT members said his father was close to retirement and was looking forward to spending time with his children. Jane Yamamoto reports from Pico Rivera for the NBC4 News at 6 on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. (Published Saturday, Aug 2, 2014)

    McSweeney said the incident remained under investigation.

    Family members said Mendoza was six months away from retirement. The 54-year-old had also been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

    Mendoza lived at the home for more than 35 years, family members said. He looked forward to retiring from his 30-year career at Unified Grocers and spending time with the eight children he raised at the home.

    Mendoza's wife, 60-year-old Lorraine Mendoza, was taken hostage during the standoff.

    Bystander Killed in Pico Rivera Standoff

    [LA] Bystander Killed in Pico Rivera Standoff
    A SWAT standoff in Pico Rivera left an innocent bystander dead as authorities tried to get a barricaded man to surrender. Gadi Schwartz reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (Published Friday, Aug 1, 2014)

    "From talking to my mother, she was locked in the bathroom, but from looking inside we know that there were gunshots fired through the bathroom," said her son, Jeremy Mendoza.

    Deputies pulled Mendoza, who was slumped over in a doorway, from the home while the gunman was still inside holding his wife hostage, McSweeney said.

    She was rescued and was unharmed.

    Three other people who were inside the house were evacuated before Mendoza was shot, officials said.

    The son said the family did not know Ramirez.

    Ramirez was wanted on two outstanding felony warrants for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and taking a vehicle without the owner's consent, sheriff's officials said.

    The standoff came to an end early Saturday after Ramirez was shot and killed when deputies attempted to re-enter the house. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials said a gun belonging to Ramirez was recovered there.

    McSweeney did not identify the deputy who shot Mendoza, saying only that the deputy "has a very fine record."

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