Los Angeles DA files charges against 2 cops in 2020 shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Two former Los Angeles County police detectives have been charged with murder in 2015. An unarmed man has been charged with fatally shooting a man in 2020, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, the district attorney said Wednesday.

Former Whittier detectives Cynthia Lopez and Salvador Murillo opened fire on April 30, 2020, as Nicholas Carrillo ran from them. As he climbed a fence to escape, two bullets hit him in the back – one severing his spinal cord.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said at a news conference that “although he is lucky to be alive, his life has changed forever and now he has to start using a wheelchair.”

Murillo was charged with possession of a semi-automatic handgun and two counts of assault under color of authority. Lopez faces two counts of assault under color of authority, one count of shooting into an occupied vehicle and one count of assault with a semi-automatic handgun. Prosecutors filed the charges Tuesday.

When detectives looked at the sedan allegedly used in an unarmed robbery a month ago, they saw a plainclothes, unmarked car, Gascon said. A woman is a suspect in a robbery at Walmart in which a TV was stolen. Carrillo was alone in his car the day he was shot.

The detectives followed the sedan into an alley, and exited their vehicle with their guns drawn. The sedan overturned and collided with the detectives’ car, Gascon said.

Prosecutors said Lopez shot into the rear window of the sedan. Carrillo ran from the car and opened fire as Lopez and Murillo chased him. He had no armor.

They are expected to appear in court on Monday. It was not immediately clear whether they had lawyers available to speak on their behalf.

The Whittier Police Officers Association, the union that represents the department’s rank-and-file officers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The detectives are no longer employed by the Whittier Police Department, which did not respond to a request for comment. Whittier is 15 miles (24 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Whittier’s case comes two weeks later. Gascon’s office sued seven California Highway Patrol officers And several officers restrained him when he tried to take a blood sample, and in 2020, a nurse was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter by a man who screamed, “I can’t breathe.”

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