Nearly a month after a jury deadlocked in the case of a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who shot and killed a mentally disabled man at a Costco store in Corona, the state Attorney General’s Office confirmed that it will not retry the case.
Salvador Sanchez, who was off duty at the time of the shooting, admitted to firing his weapon at 32-year-old Kenneth French, killing the man with an intellectual disability and wounding his parents in June 2019. Sanchez had told Corona Police officers that he thought he “got shot in the back of [his] head,” and he believed French was armed.
After Riverside County decided not to file criminal charges against Sanchez, the California attorney general’s office charged him. But the case that sought one count of voluntary manslaughter for French’s death and two counts of assault with a firearm for wounding French’s mother and father ended in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked following more than three days of deliberation.
“The Department of Justice stands by the decision to charge and prosecute this case,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement. “However, after considering a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the input of the surviving victims and feedback from the trial jury, the Department has decided not to retry the case.”
Corona Police said French attacked Sanchez without provocation inside the store, and that Sanchez was with his young son at the time.
The Frenches were shopping when they approached a food-sample table with sausages. Sanchez was also at the sample table, holding his son, officials said.
Since the Costco shooting, the LAPD fired Sanchez in 2020 after the department found Sanchez violated its policy for use of lethal force.
In 2019, French’s parents sued Sanchez and the City of Los Angeles and were awarded $17 million in damaged by a federal jury, which found Sanchez acted as an LAPD employee.