The mother of a man shot and killed by Los Angeles sheriff's deputies announced on Tuesday a $25 million claim against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department she said she hopes will help the family find closure.
John Winkler, 30, was shot and killed when deputies responded to a call of an assault with a deadly weapon in West Hollywood April 7.
An investigation revealed that Winkler, an aspiring producer working on Comedy Central’s "Tosh.0," was one of three men being held hostage by another man with a knife, authorities said.
Winkler's mother, Lisa Ostergren, spoke in Seattle Tuesday to announce how the family hopes to move forward with the lawsuit against the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
"Our family wants to find the truth of what happened that night," Ostergren said through tears. "The officers need to be accountable for their actions and what they've done, so no other family has to live through this."
Ostergren joined the family's attorney, Simeon Osborn, to announce the claim, a precursor to the lawsuit, against the LASD in Winkler's death.
"The lawsuit is about truth and accountability," Osborn said. "This was a preventable act that robbed a young man of his dreams."
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Those dreams were to be a television producer, his mother explained.
"He was living up here and he made the choice at 30 that that was his ultimate dream, so he packed up he moved down (to Los Angeles)," Ostergren said. "He said, 'Mom, I'm going to take whatever job I can get, I'm going to work hard and pursue whatever I want to do.'"
When Winkler landed temporary production work with "Tosh.0," it was an accomplishment for the whole family, she said.
"He was so excited he called everybody at home," Ostergren said. "His thing was, 'Mom, I'm going to work so hard so when a producer position comes up, they're going to give it to me."
Representatives from the Comedy Central show have sent cards and condolences to the family since Winkler's death, she said.
The family left the room when Osborn was asked about the night of the shooting.
He described Winkler rushing out of an apartment where a stabbing suspect was holding people hostage.
Winkler was trying to help someone who had just been stabbed when he was shot, Osborn said.
"John grabs (the victim) because he sees him bleeding and gets him out the door. Police are in the lobby," he said. "John puts his hand on (the victim) to stop the bleeding, the door opens, and boom."
A sheriff’s department spokesman said an internal investigation was launched into the shooting.
Alexander McDonald, 27, allegedly stabbed and fought the hostages until deputies arrived, officials said. He has been charged in connection with murder.