CORONA, California. >> The parents of a man suffering from mental illness, who was shot by a police officer at a Costco store in California, claimed that he was charged with criminal charges after being treated for their own injuries Gunshot.
Salvador Sanchez, a Los Angeles police officer, said that he had opened fire because Kenneth French had attacked him while Sanchez was holding his son a year and a half away from him. 39, a visit to the warehouse.
Russell and Paola French appeared in public today for the first time since the incident that led to the death of their 32 year old son on June 14th in Corona.
Family lawyer Dale Galipo acknowledged at the press conference that Kenneth French had probably pushed the officer, but it was not an attack and French had immediately gone away.
Paola French told reporters that she and her husband had shouted at Sanchez not to shoot and that their son was not a threat.
"I was arguing for my son and our lives, but I still had a bullet in my back," she said, holding back her tears. "What threat did I pose to him?"
Russell French, who lost a kidney after the shooting and stayed in the hospital until last week, said he had "begged" the officer not to shoot.
"I told him we did not have guns and my son was sick," French said.
The family today filed a lawsuit – a forerunner of a lawsuit – against Sanchez and the Los Angeles Police Department.
"My client was assaulted. He was acting in self-defense, "said Ira Salzman, Sanchez's lawyer. "It's a horrible tragedy for both families."
Galipo said he did not know if there had been an exchange before the shoot. He urged the authorities to broadcast surveillance footage and videos on mobile phones.
However, a Riverside County judge made an order that prevents the video from remaining visible to the public for a year due to the investigation. Prosecutors were still deciding whether to charge criminal charges.
Galipo said that he thought Sanchez should face charges of murder or manslaughter.
Corona police said the French had attacked the officer without provocation
Galipo described this as an "open push or slap" in the policeman's back.
"This certainly does not justify killing anyone," Galipo said.
A trained police officer should defuse the situation before opening fire, "especially when you are in Costco and there are children," said the lawyer.
Another Sanchez lawyer, David Winslow, said in June that French threw the officer to the ground and briefly lost consciousness.
When Sanchez arrived, Winslow said, "He believed that his life and that of his son were in immediate danger" and fired with his handgun.
Kenneth French lived with his parents. Family members think he's suffering from schizophrenia, Galipo said.
Paola French said her son was a "serene and peaceful soul" who was never aggressive.
Sanchez, a seven-year Los Angeles police officer, is on paid administrative leave, which is mandatory after a shooting involving an officer.