Latest: Lawyer says officer attacked unexpectedly in Costco
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a fatal shooting at a Costco Wholesale warehouse store in Southern California (all times local):
The lawyer for an off-duty officer who shot and killed a man inside a Southern California Costco says the policeman was attacked without warning as he held his toddler son.
Attorney David Winslow says Monday that his client — whom he won’t name — was struck from behind without a word being spoken Friday night in the huge store in Corona, southeast of Los Angeles.
Winslow says the officer was briefly knocked unconscious and his 1 ½-year-old son also fell to the ground. The attorney says the armed officer then returned to consciousness believing that his life and his son’s life were in immediate danger, so he began firing his gun.
Police say the attacker was killed and two bystanders wounded by gunfire.
The officer has been placed on paid leave.
12:45 p.m. Monday
Los Angeles police say an off-duty officer who shot and killed a man inside a Southern California Costco store won’t have any contact with the public during a criminal investigation and separate department review.
Police in the city of Corona are investigating the shooting Friday night that left Kenneth French dead and his parents critically wounded. Rick Shureih, French’s cousin, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that the 32-year-old was a “gentle giant” who had mental disabilities. He declined to give specifics about his condition.
Investigators say the off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer claims French attacked him without provocation as the officer held his young child.
LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman says Monday that the officer, who has not been identified, has been assigned administrative duties during the investigations. She says the officer works at the LAPD’s Southwest station.
9:58 p.m. Sunday
The Los Angeles Police Department is gathering evidence and video footage in an administrative investigation into an off-duty officer who shot and killed a man authorities say attacked him inside a Southern California Costco Wholesale warehouse store.
Authorities did not respond Sunday to requests for comment about what provoked the Friday night confrontation and whether anyone but the officer was armed. Two others were critically injured in the shooting in Corona, which is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.
The officer opened fire after Kenneth French, 32, of Riverside, “assaulted” him “without provocation” as the officer held his young child, Corona police said Saturday.
Bullets struck French and two of his family members, police said.
Rick Shureih, French’s cousin, told The Press-Enterprise that he was a “gentle giant” who was mentally disabled. Shureih also identified the other two victims as French’s parents, Russell and Paola French, and said they remained in an intensive care unit Sunday.