The man who was shot dead Friday by a Los Angeles police officer in a Costco in Southern California, was known as a "gentle giant", mentally handicapped and who could have started an argument leading to confrontation. deadly. , his cousin said Sunday.
According to the Corona Police Department, 32-year-old Kenneth French of Riverside was shot dead after allegedly "assaulting the police while holding his young child", which led the officer to shoot with his gun. , hitting French and two other members of his family. who were seriously injured.
But his cousin, Rick Shureih, disputes the report published by the authorities, telling Press-Enterprise that French was "non-violent, non-aggressive, non-verbal" and "a nice giant".
"He is not the type to exchange words, so I do not believe that a verbal confrontation has occurred," he told the newspaper.
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Shureih, who was not at the store at the time of the shooting, identified the other Press-Enterprise victims as being his parents, Russell and Paola French, claiming that they had stayed in an intensive care unit. Sunday. Authorities did not reveal their names.
He posted a picture on Facebook Sunday saying that he "did not shut up" because "people need to know!"
"Do they make you look intimidating? Did he really shoot them all? I'm posting this picture because the social media reports have revealed them to be the suspects and the service cop the victim," Shureih said. . "It's a family that was not armed and was just shopping, the truth will be revealed, I'm sure it was a misunderstanding that got worse for no reason!
In another interview with the Los Angeles Times, Shureih said that his cousin's mental state had declined in recent years and that he was no longer speaking.
"It may be because he hit someone but he could not communicate the fact that he was sorry," said Shureih.
The cousin stated that the family was working on the hiring of a lawyer and was looking for the name of the officer on leave, as well as the video surveillance and witness testimony to try to understand what had happened, reported FOX11.
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The police did not specify whether the French had weapons or if the police officer identified himself as a member of the police before firing.
"Following the usual procedure in such investigations, the Corona Police Department is working closely with the Riverside District Attorney's Office, which will assess the facts and circumstances of this incident," Corona Police said Saturday. .
The shooting at Costco about 40 miles east of Los Angeles on Friday night caused a scared shopping rush, some who fled the store while others sought shelter at the airport. inside. Witnesses reported seeing a fight between two people near a freezer when shots rang out at least six times.
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Corona Police and Riverside County Attorney's Office will conduct a separate investigation into the shooting. The LAPD said Sunday that she had no other information. A spokesman for the Corona Police Department told Fox News Monday that a "very serious active investigation" was underway and that there was no new information since the publication of the report. 39, a press release on Saturday night.
Los Angeles Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said Sunday that Chief Michel Moore had decided to put the officer on leave, but it was still unclear whether this would happen.
The officer on leave – assigned to the southwestern police station in Los Angeles – was slightly injured and released in a nearby hospital, said officer Greg Kraft of the section of relations with the LAPD media at FOX11. His child was not injured during the incident.
Ministry policies allow officers on leave to carry concealed weapons for as long as they are authorized to be used on duty, in accordance with the Los Angeles Police Manual.
Brie Stimson of Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.