LA County sheriff has 'grave concerns' about death of man shot and killed by deputies

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Police aiming stun bag shotguns and guns at David Ordaz Jr.
This still from body camera footage shows Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies aiming a stun bag gun and a gun at David Ordaz Jr. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
  • The LA County sheriff said he had "grave concerns" about the March death of a man who deputies shot and killed.

  • David Ordaz Jr.'s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against LA County and the deputies involved.

  • LASD released a 911 call and body camera footage of Ordaz's death after the lawsuit was filed.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Friday he had "grave concerns" about the March death of a Hispanic man who was shot and killed by deputies after his sister called them to her family home.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department released edited versions of a 911 call recording and body camera footage associated with the March 14 death of David Ordaz Jr., three days after Ordaz's family filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles and four deputies seeking $75,000 in damages.

The deputies had been dispatched to Ordaz's family home to respond to a call of a suicidal person holding a knife, according to an initial police statement.

In the edited 911 call released by police, Ordaz's sister can be heard asking the operator to guide her through helping her brother, who she says is suicidal and has a kitchen knife in the car where they are both sitting.

She then tells the dispatcher that she believes her brother hasn't slept all night because of his suicidal thoughts, and that he is high on methamphetamine. She adds that Ordaz has talked about "suicide by cop" in the past and says she is afraid of that.

The edited body camera footage shows deputies tell Ordaz to get out of the car, which he does, and to drop his knife, which he does not appear to do. Ordaz can be heard repeatedly asking deputies to shoot him while he stands near the car.

A sergeant arrived shortly after Ordaz exited the car and delivered stun bag shotguns to two deputies, according to police. The body camera footage shows deputies appear to shoot Ordaz several times with stun bags; after Ordaz stumbles, the deputies appear to shoot him several more times with lethal rounds, with one final shot coming after Ordaz is flat on his back.

Though police said deputies shot Ordaz after he "reared back" from the impact of the nonlethal rounds and "immediately stepped toward the deputies," the lawsuit said the body camera footage shows Ordaz "turn to flee" after being hit with the stun bags.

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"I want to clearly state that I have grave concerns regarding this deputy involved shooting," Villanueva said in a statement Friday. "One of the deputies has been relieved of duty and their peace officer powers have been suspended pending the outcome of this investigation."

It's unclear which deputy was relieved of duty, and a spokesman for LASD would not comment to Insider because the homicide investigation is still active.

Villanueva said in his statement that the case will be passed to the Los Angeles County District Attorney and the FBI upon completion of the investigation.

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