The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office concluded that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies acted lawfully in shooting four men, including one who shot and wounded a deputy in Newhall nearly two years ago, documents released Wednesday show.
Prosecutors determined that Deputy Albert White “acted in lawful self-defense” when he fired at Monolito Guerra after the suspect shot him in the neck during a Nov. 28, 2017, search near a Newhall apartment complex, and that fellow Deputies Tanner Sanchez, Benjamin Sanchez and Robert Garcia acted in lawful self-defense and in defense of others when they fired at Guerra, who was shot multiple times.
Guerra allegedly pointed a gun at a woman looking for a parking space, hid underneath a windshield sunshade in the back seat of his Ford Fusion during a law enforcement search and fired at White as the deputy opened the rear passenger door and ordered him to freeze, according to a document detailing the shooting.
Guerra, now 31, is awaiting a hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial on charges including attempted murder of a peace officer.
Prosecutors also declined to file charges involving the deputy-involved shootings of:
— Ivan Pena, who was shot to death on Sept. 24, 2018, in East Los Angeles by Deputy Jennifer Romero, who had observed the 42-year-old man struggle with her partner and point a gun at her after the deputies stopped to investigate a parked Honda Accord with three people inside. The deputy’s partner — who had been reaching across Pena when Romero fired — was struck in the forearm by one of the rounds fired by Romero, and Pena was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the document.
Prosecutors concluded that “Romero’s use of deadly force was reasonable both in self-defense and to protect the life of her partner.”
— James Kalaaukahi, who was shot and wounded after allegedly attacking a female sheriff’s custody assistant who was preparing to take his fingerprints at the sheriff’s station in Lakewood following his Aug. 10, 2018, arrest on suspicion of taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent. Detective Roberto Solorio and Deputy Nicholas Fernandez fired at Kalaaukahi, who had allegedly sucker-punched the longtime sheriff’s employee in the face, dragged her along the floor by her hair into a jail cell and pointed her own taser at the woman, who “repeatedly” lost consciousness and suffered a broken nose and other injuries, according to the document, which contains photographs of the alleged attack.
Doubt was declared about Kalaaukahi’s mental competency to stand trial on charges that include assault upon a custodial officer, with an Oct. 28 status update set in his case, according to the document.
— Eduardo Sanchez, who was shot and wounded by Deputy Parker Driscoll after allegedly closing in with a knife on a neighbor and moving toward the deputy while warning him that he was “coming for you” last Nov. 25 in Lancaster. Prosecutors noted that it was “reasonable for Driscoll to believe that he was about to be attacked with the knife and respond with deadly force” and that Driscoll was “reasonable in believing that other civilians in the vicinity were also at risk given Sanchez’s behavior.”
Sanchez is awaiting trial on felony charges, including assault with a deadly weapon upon a peace officer.