Deputies "Devastated" After Fatal Shooting of Innocent Homeowner

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department conducted a news conference Thursday Aug. 7, 2014 regarding the mistaken identity shooting of a man during a Pico Rivera standoff.

    Deputies were "devastated" after a grandfather was fatally shot in an apparent case of mistaken identity during a standoff in Pico Rivera last week, Interim Los Angeles County Sheriff John Scott said Thursday.

    "I stand before you today, again, to express our deepest condolences and prayers to the Mendoza family," Scott said during a news conference. "It was indeed a tragic event for all of us."

    Scott said one deputy shot and killed Frank Mendoza at his home Friday after he appeared in the doorway.

    Autopsy Confirms Deputy's Deadly Standoff Mistake

    [LA] Autopsy Confirms Deputy's Deadly Standoff Mistake
    Los Angeles County Sheriff John Scott's confirmation that Frank Mendoza was mistakenly shot and killed at close range by a deputy during a standoff last week only heightened his family's pain on Thursday, even as the department repeatedly apologized over the tragic mistake. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Monterey Park for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014.

    "Based on the quick movement of the individual, a deputy positioned in the front yard thought he was the suspect trying to seek position inside the front of the home to assault other deputies located outside the front window," Scott said.

    The news conference was held one day after the coroner's office released the cause of death. Officials said Frank Mendoza died of multiple gunshot wounds.

    Sheriff: Deputy Mistakenly Shot, Killed Innocent Man

    [LA] Sheriff: Deputy Mistakenly Shot, Killed Innocent Man
    Los Angeles County Sheriff John Scott said a deputy mistakenly shot and killed an innocent homeowner whose house was broken into by a an armed parolee. The deputy believed Frank Mendoza was the suspect and made a "split-decision," ultimately leading to the homeowner's death, Scott said. Jane Yamamoto reports live for the NBC4 News at Noon on Thursday, August 7, 2014.

    "And it is confirmed that our personnel fired the fatal round," Scott said.

    The results of a ballistics test are pending. LASD was expected to help pay for Mendoza's funeral.

    Mendoza was killed Friday night when an armed 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.

    When deputies entered the home, they came across Mendoza, who was standing in a doorway. A deputy fired two rounds at Mendoza, only to learn that the man he had shot was the homeowner, said sheriff's Chief Bill McSweeney.

    Deputies shot and killed the barricaded suspect, 24-year-old Cedric Ramirez, as they attempted to rescue Mendoza's wife, who was being held hostage.

    "(Ramirez) brazenly broke into a home of an innocent family, ultimately taking a hostage," Scott said. "He demonstrated a complete disregard for the safety of the Mendoza family, terrorizing them in a way that no one should."

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

    Mendoza, 54, was months away from retirement, family members said. He is survived by his wife, eight children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

    "Together we are holding strong as a family, for my mom's sake and for our own," Mendoza's son Jeremy told NBC4 Thursday at a fundraiser for the funeral. "We're leaning on each other for support."

    The Pico Rivera shooting was second time in four months that a deputy-involved shooting ended with the death of an innocent person. In April, John Winkler was shot and killed by deputies as he ran for help after a stabbing in a West Hollywood apartment complex.

    Beverly White contributed to this report.