A $14.35 million settlement was recently reached between Los Angeles County and the family of a man who was accidentally shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy “during a standoff four years ago.” The victim was Frank Mendoza. He was 54-years-old at the time and was standing at the front door of his home in Pico Rivera when the fatal shooting occurred on August 1, 2014.
A $14.35 million settlement was recently reached between LA County and the family of a man who was accidentally shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy “during a standoff four years ago.” The victim was Frank Mendoza. He was 54-years-old at the time and was standing at the front door of his home in Pico Rivera when the fatal shooting occurred on August 1, 2014.
What happened, though? Well, the incident occurred while the sheriff’s deputy was looking for an armed parolee, Cedric Ramirez. According to reports, Ramirez “hid behind the Mendozas’ home on the 9000 block of Rosehedge Drive and ended up breaking into the home through a window.” Deputies then entered the Mendoza’s home looking for the parolee and found Mendoza, his wife, and two children inside. When the deputies left, they didn’t inform the family how to properly evacuate, according to the suit.
While fleeing the home, Mendoza’s wife was taken hostage by Ramirez, a known gang member. Mendoza, on the other hand, was shot in the head and leg upon exiting his home through the front door. Tragically, “he died from his wounds on his front porch.” At the time, acting sheriff John Scott said:
“Believing he was an immediate threat to his partners, the deputy fired twice, striking the man and falling to the floor just inside the front door. Tragically, it was Mr. Mendoza.”
His wife remained with Ramirez for three hours after Mendoza was killed before deputies finally entered the home and shot and killed the parolee. She was then taken to a “local hospital and listed in good condition.”
Soon after the incident, the family filed a lawsuit against the county alleging the “deputies were negligent in leaving the family alone in their home.” It’s important to note, however, that Mendoza’s son, Frank Mendoza Jr. said he wasn’t angry with the deputies over the accident. He said, “I can understand they are here to serve and they’re here to protect, it’s just, that day it just didn’t go their way.”
The settlement was reached earlier this year, though the amount has yet to be disclosed. When commenting on the settlement, Garo Mardirossian, a family attorney, said it is “a record for the county.” He added that he “believed a jury would have awarded the family $25 million, but they chose not to go through the ordeal of a trial.”
Despite the settlement, Mendoza’s son said no amount of money will ever be able to replace his father. He said, “The money doesn’t really mean anything. I would take my father over anything.”