Los Angeles

Off-Duty LAPD Officer Who Fatally Shot Man at Corona Costco is Identified


What to Know

  • A 32-year-old man was killed and his parents were wounded Friday when an off-duty officer opened fire in a Corona Costco
  • The LAPD officer fired after he was attacked from behind while holding his child, his attorney says
  • The Riverside County District Attorney's Office issued a statement urging the public to be patient

The off-duty Los Angeles police officer who shot and killed a special needs man and critically wounded his parents after being attacked in a Corona Costco store was identified on Wednesday as Salvador Sanchez.

Sanchez is accused of using a 9 mm handgun to fatally shoot Kenneth French, 32, at 7:46 p.m. Friday inside the store at 480 N. McKinley St. The shooting happened near a food tasting station after the officer, who was holding his 18-month-old son, was struck in the head and left momentarily unconscious.

Kenneth French, who was unarmed, was described by his family as nonverbal and intellectually disabled and always accompanied by his parents, Russell and Paola. Paola French remains in critical condition, while Russell French's condition is improving, a family attorney said.

An attorney for Sanchez said his client was acting in self-defense while French's relatives are calling for the officer's arrest.

Conflicting stories have emerged about what happened before the shooting and Corona Police Chief George Johnstone said the investigation will take time. He said the case has been partially hampered by an inability to speak to all of the people involved.

In a video posted online, Johnstone said investigators are speaking to witnesses and reviewing surveillance video from the store and other forensic evidence from the Friday night shooting.

"This has been the highest priority for our department from the beginning," the chief said. "A significant amount of resources has been allocated to this investigation. There has been and continues to be a lot of work."

Sanchez was hired in 2012, worked at the Rampart Division and has had an unremarkable career, several high-ranking officials at LAPD told NBCLA on Monday.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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