CORONA, Calif. (KABC) — The family of a man who was shot and killed by an off-duty officer inside a Corona Costco spoke publicly for the first time at a press conference Monday.
Russell and Paola French said their son Kenneth French, 32, had schizophrenia and that he was unable to communicate with Officer Salvador Sanchez.
“Our first-born son was a peaceful and loving soul throughout all 32 years of his life. He was caring, helpful and gentle, never aggressive…to anybody at anytime,” said French’s mother’s through tears. The family was shopping in preparation for the upcoming Father’s Day holiday the day French was killed.
The family of a man who was shot and killed by an off-duty officer inside a Corona Costco spoke publicly for the first time.
“I told Officer Sanchez not to shoot twice. I even said please,” Paola French said.
The attorney for the family is asking that surveillance footage from Costco be released. “Should it really take a year to investigate whether this shooting was excessive or not? What are they possibly investigating?” the family’s attorney Dale K. Galipo asked. The Riverside County District Attorney’s office had obtained a court order to prevent the release of the video for up to a year.
Galipo has filed a claim against the City of Los Angeles stating that Sanchez presented himself as an officer at the time of the incident. “If I was prosecuting this case…I could prove to jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that this was murder or manslaughter,” he said.
Sanchez’s attorney said his client was in fear for his and his 18-month-old son’s safety after French violently attacked him from behind. “My client was assaulted from behind without warning, not shoved or pushed. Hit from behind, fell to ground, lost consciousness, suffered concussion,” Ira Salzman
French’s mother Paola was shot in the back during the altercation on June 14 and remained in a coma for an extended period of time and had seven surgeries, according to Galipo. French’s father Russell was shot in his abdomen and lost a kidney.
The family scheduled a funeral for Kenneth French Friday.