Police kill bystander in California standoff

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

PICO RIVERA, Calif. (AP) -- Investigators say a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy accidentally shot and killed a homeowner during a standoff with a parolee who took the man's wife hostage.

Sheriff's Detective Chief William McSweeney said Saturday that the deputy mistook Frank Mendoza for the parolee during the 8-hour standoff that ended with SWAT officers storming a home in the suburb of Pico Rivera and killing the suspect.

McSweeney said the confusion occurred after the parolee traded gunfire with deputies who were trying to arrest him and broke into Mendoza's home through a back window. Deputies went to the front door to evacuate the residents when the parolee fired at them. The deputies had to run for cover, and within seconds a man ran out of the door.

McSweeney said a deputy fired at the man who turned out to be Mendoza.

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