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Downey officer who family says shot wrong man placed on leave

October 25, 2011 | 10:18 am

Michael Lee NidaA Downey police officer has been placed on administrative leave after he shot and killed a man over the weekend in what family members say was a case of mistaken identity.

The officer shot Michael Nida, 31, of South Gate on Saturday evening. Officers were investigating a report of an armed robbery at a Bank of America ATM near Imperial Highway and Paramount Boulevard.

Officials said police detained Nida because he matched the description of the robber, and Nida ran from them. Family members told KTLA that Nida, a father of four, was getting gasoline with his wife and was not involved in the robbery. It was unclear why he ran.

During the pursuit, Nida turned toward the officers and an officer fired, fearing that he was armed. No weapon was found on him.

Downey Police Chief Rick Esteves released a statement saying that the officer is on leave and asking for the public's patience while the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigates the shooting.

"Our police department understands the loss of human life is extremely tragic under any circumstance. We sincerely offer our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Nida," he said in the statement.

The Sheriff's Department is also investigating an Oct. 12 officer-involved-shooting by Downey police.


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Photo: Michael Nida. Credit: Family photo via KTLA News