LASD deputy charged for fatally shooting man during mental health crisis in 2021

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy was charged Thursday for fatally shooting a man…

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy was charged Thursday for fatally shooting a man suffering from a mental health crisis in 2021. 

The incident occurred back on March 14, 2021, when Deputy Remin Pineda was dispatched to an East Los Angeles home in response to a mental health call. It was there that David Ordaz Jr., a 34-year-old father of three, was suffering from the mental health crisis. Family members who called authorities reported that he was suicidal and armed with a knife. 

Ordaz was fatally shot in the back in front of his family while lying on the ground, posing no threat to the deputies, according to the federal lawsuit filed against LASD

In response to the lawsuit, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that he had “grave concerns” about the circumstances surrounding the shooting. 

(credit: CBSLA)

During trial, prosecutors said that the deputies had initially fired bean-bag rounds at Ordaz when he walked towards them armed with the knife. He allegedly continued to walk towards them, at which point deputies drew their firearms and shot him. The prosecutors claim that after he was already on the ground, Pineda continued to fire at him. 

Video of the shooting, released by LASD, details at least 10 rounds fired, including one additional shot that was fired after the initial flurry of gunfire. That final shot was fired while Ordaz was already lying on the sidewalk, holding his shoulder. 

“In fact, the coroners report shows that all of the bullets, except two, struck him on the back and on the side and the final bullet, as visualized in the video, shows a helpless David Ordaz Jr. looking up from the pavement without any weapon, and the killing shot was fired into his chest,” the lawsuit alleges. 

Pineda was charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm and assault under color of authority. An arraignment date has not yet been set. 

“Unlawful and excessive force at the hands of police erodes the public trust and leads to further divisions between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón in a statement announcing the charges. “It is imperative that we hold law enforcement accountable when they act unlawfully. This tragic killing of Mr. Ordaz in the presence of his own family has caused tremendous harm that will reverberate for years to come.”