An off-duty LAPD officer was shopping with his family at the Corona Costco and was holding his young child when he was attacked by a man he did not know and fired his gun, killing the assailant and critically wounding two of the man’s relatives, Corona police said Saturday.
The shooting occurred at 7:46 p.m. Friday at the store at 480 N. McKinley St., Corona Police Officer Tobias Kouroubacalis said.
“Investigation has confirmed an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department Officer was shopping at Costco with his family. Without provocation, a male unknown to the officer’s family assaulted the officer while the officer was holding his young child,” Kouroubacalis said.
“This attack resulted in the officer firing his weapon, striking the male and two of the male’s family members. The family members are being treated at local hospitals and are in critical condition,” he said. “The off duty officer was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated and released.”
The child was not injured.
The assailant was identified as Kenneth French, 32, of Riverside, the Corona officer said.
The off-duty officer — assigned to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southwest Station — suffered minor injuries in the incident, Officer Greg Kraft of the LAPD’s Media Relations Section said.
“The officer’s gun was the only weapon involved in the incident, contrary to earlier reports,” Kouroubacalis said. “As is standard procedure in such investigations, the Corona Police Department is working closely with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, who will be evaluating the facts and circumstances of this incident.
Officers responded to a shots-fired call at the store, located at 480 N. McKinley St., at 7:45 p.m. Friday and anticipated an active-shooter situation, according to Lt. Jeff Edwards of the Corona Police Department.
“They (officers) went inside and encountered four subjects down,” Edwards said.
Witnesses told police there was an argument between a man with a Mohawk haircut and another man in the freezer section of the store before at least six shots were fired, KCAL9 reported.
Most customers ran out of the store when the gunfire erupted.
Former U.S. Marine Aurtis Wilson told the Press-Enterprise he heard two people arguing near the store’s produce section, then heard gunshots.
Personal items belonging to shoppers who fled the store, including purses, cellphones and backpacks, were secured by officers, police said in a statement Saturday morning.
“The items will be kept for safekeeping and will be released to the owner with proper identification,” the statement said.
Customers who left shopping bags or other items of interest need to contact Costco at 951-279-1190 to retrieve their property.
An LAPD use-of-force investigative team was at the scene all night conducting their own investigation, CBS2 reported.
“We have initiated an administrative investigation, to where we’re working with the Corona Police Department,” Kraft said.
Anyone who witnessed the shooting or has information about it was asked to contact Corona Police Lt. Robert Newman at 951-817-5788 or via email at Robert.Newman@CoronaCA.gov.
The store opened a couple hours later than scheduled Saturday, according to the Press-Enterprise.