Photo: Homeless Couple Awarded $4M After Being Shot by LA Deputies in 2010
In 2010, Angel Mendez and his pregnant wife Jennifer Mendez were living in a makeshift wooden shack in southern California when deputies barged in looking for a wanted parolee.
The frightened husband, not realizing who was in their home, reached for his nearby BB gun as the deputies entered. He was shot 10 times and his wife was hit once. In total, the two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office deputies fired their weapons 15 times.
In the gruesome video footage of the incident, the severely wounded Mendez is heard pleading for emergency workers to save his life.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said an internal review of the incident found the shooting was justified, despite the deputies not having a warrant and without announcing their presence to the couple.
As a result of the October 2010 shooting, Mendez lost his right leg below the knee. He also has major scarring as a result of being shot the right forearm, right shin, right hip/thigh, right lower back, and left foot. His wife recovered from her wound and the baby was unharmed.
This week however, a federal judge found the couple’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated and awarded Angel Mendez $3.8 million and his wife $222,000.
The sheriff’s office is said to be considering an appeal.
When the shooting occurred, the deputies had been looking for felony suspect Ronnie O’Dell, who was believed to be armed and dangerous.