Ex-LAPD cop charged with manslaughter in deadly Costco shooting

A former Los Angeles police officer has been charged in connection with a 2019 shooting inside a Costco in the city of Corona, California, where a mentally ill man was killed and his parents were critically wounded, CBS Los Angeles reports.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday that Salvador Sanchez, a seven-year veteran of the LAPD, has been charged with one count of voluntary manslaughter and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic handgun. He was taken into custody Monday morning in Riverside County.

On the night of June 14, 2019, Kenneth French, 32, of Riverside and his parents, Russell and Paola, were shot by off-duty LAPD Officer Salvador Sanchez while in line at a sample station at the Costco.

Kenneth, who has been described by his family’s attorney as schizophrenic and nonverbal, was killed. His parents were critically wounded but survived. Both were shot in the back.

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An undated photo of 32-year-old Kenneth French, and his parents Russell and Paula French, who were shot by an off-duty LAPD officer at a Costco in Corona, California, on June 14, 2019. Kenneth died but his parents survived. Rick Shureih via CBS Los Angeles

In September of 2019, a Riverside County grand jury declined to bring criminal charges in the case, a decision that sparked major protests at the time, per CBS LA.

Grainy surveillance video appeared to show a physical altercation between French and Sanchez prior to the shooting. Sanchez, who had been holding his 18-month-old son, fired 10 rounds from a handgun. In March 2021, Corona police released bodycam footage of their officers responding to the scene. In the footage, Sanchez tells officers that he opened fire after believing that he himself had been shot.

The shooting created chaos in the store, sending shoppers scurrying for the exits. Corona police officers had initially responded to reports of an active shooter.

The Los Angeles Police Commission later determined that Sanchez acted outside department policy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.