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Family of Willowbrook man shot by deputies asks for answers

November 12, 2012 |  6:45 am

Family members of the Willowbrook man shot and killed by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies Saturday night is questioning whether the use of deadly force was necessary.

The shooting, which took place around 10:25 p.m. in the 1900 block of East 122nd Street, occurred after a routine traffic stop for vehicle code violations.

Police say the driver of the car sped away. After a few blocks, the car stopped and a man got out and "raised his arms from his waistband," a sheriff's official said. Fearing the man had a weapon, the deputies shot and killed him, officials said.

The driver then sped away, crashed his car near the intersection of El Segundo and Avalon boulevards and fled on foot. He was later arrested without incident.

Family members told KTLA-TV Channel 5  that the victim was 36-year-old Jose de la Trinidad and that the driver of the car was his brother.

They said De la Trinidad carried his arm at his side due to a severe arm injury and that must have been what deputies saw.

"Do you have to murder him?" his wife, Rosie de la Trinidad, asked of the deputies. "Can you shoot him in the leg? Give him a chance at life? What am I supposed to do with these girls now?"

"He was an excellent father, an excellent family man, a respectable man, loved by everyone who knew him," she said.

No weapons were recovered from either man or the vehicle. Sheriff's officials are continuing to investigate the shooting. 

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— Wesley Lowery

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