LA sheriff has 'grave concerns' about deputy fatally shooting man with knife; 1 officer suspended

In a criticism of his own deputies, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva also said he had “grave concerns” about the shooting that happened on March 14 after 34-year-old David Ordaz Jr. has since died as a result of the wounds sustained during the incident outside his family’s home.  

“I want to clearly state I have grave concerns regarding this deputy involved shooting,” Villanueva said in a statement, announcing that body worn camera video and a critical incident video of the event has been posted online. “Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones.”

One of the four deputies involved has been relieved of duty and their peace officer powers have been suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation by the sheriff’s department’s homicide detectives, Villanueva said. The four deputies involved have previously been identified as Remin Pineda, Edwin Navarrete, Jaime Romero and Nathaniel Trujillo, but the sheriff did not clarify which was relieved of duty. 

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Snippets of body-camera footage, as well as audio from the 911 call and police dispatch radio, were released a day after Ordaz’ family held a press conference Thursday outside the federal courthouse in Los Angeles announcing a lawsuit against Los Angeles County and the four deputies involved. 

On March 14, East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station responded to a call at 1:52 p.m. on the 100 block of North Rowan Ave. A woman, who later identified herself as Ordaz’ sister, tells a dispatcher that she was seated with her brother inside a Gold Chevrolet Cruze parked outside their family’s home.  

“Yes, hello, um, I’m currently with someone who is telling me they’re suicidal,” she is heard saying in the video summary of the incident posted to the sheriff department’s YouTube page. “I was just wondering if you could guide me on what I can do to help them.”

Ordaz also describes how he was armed with a knife and on drugs to the dispatcher. 

Asked by the dispatcher if he was armed with a pocket knife, Ordaz is heard saying, “It’s a big a** butcher knife.” His sister says, “It’s a kitchen knife.” 

She said her brother was high on meth amphetamine and had not slept in days. 

Body camera video released of fatal deputy-involved shooting of David Ordaz Jr. on March 14, 2021. 

Body camera video released of fatal deputy-involved shooting of David Ordaz Jr. on March 14, 2021. 

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