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Deputy Risked Life to Retrieve Body of Homeowner Shot in Standoff: LASD

Pico Rivera city officials met Friday to discuss the fatal shooting of an innocent man during a standoff involving a gunman and Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies

The deputy who shot an innocent homeowner in Pico Rivera risked his life during the standoff to retrieve the man's body, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Friday.

The news came Friday as authorities released more details about a deputy's actions in a shootout at a Pico Rivera residence that killed homeowner Frank Mendoza.

"We’re trying to help for the Mendoza family," said Mayor Pro Tem Gregory Salcido. "We’re trying to get honest answers, the truth, from the Sheriff’s Department."

The meeting, which saw three people speak during a public comment period, came one day after Los Angeles County Sheriff John Scott expressed his condolences to Mendoza's family after it was confirmed that one deputy shot and killed the homeowner after an hours-long standoff Friday in which an armed parolee allegedly broke into Mendoza's home and took his family hostage.

"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.

Mendoza was shot twice by the deputy. After realizing the homeowner had been shot, a tactical plan was put in place within eight minutes to get Mendoza out of the house, authorities said.

The rescue team -- including the deputy who shot Mendoza -- used a ballistic shield to provide cover as they entered the house. Other deputies provided the rescue team "cover fire" by shooting into the eaves of the Mendoza home.

Mendoza was placed in a patrol car and taken to paramedics. He died from his injuries.

Deputies then 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."

About 24 shots were fired during the shootout, not including the additional rounds used to provide cover for the rescue team.

LASD was expected to help pay for Mendoza's funeral.

"The outcome was the heartbreaking death of an innocent man," said Assistant Sheriff Michael Rothans. “The investigation is ongoing and will be for several months ahead."

Salcido said last week's tragedy was caused by Ramirez, and that it couldn't have been prevented.

“When it comes down to it the tragedy of last week, there’s nothing that can be done to prevent it," Salcido said Friday morning. "Bad people do bad things.”

Friday's shooting was the 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.

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