“Deputies were searching for 24-year-old Cedric Ramirez around 5 p.m. Friday at a house in the 9000 block of Reichling Lane,” latimes.com reports,”hoping to arrest him on parole violations. Ramirez spotted deputies and ran away, and when deputies tracked him to the driveway of a nearby home he opened fire on them. Ramirez broke into the home through a rear window. Deputies entered through the front door and rushed an adult and two children out of the house, while Ramirez continued firing at them. When resident Frank Mendoza, 54, appeared in the doorway, a deputy mistook him for Ramirez and shot him twice.” Killing him. Earlier reports of the incident report that a SWAT team then made the scene (auto-play video after the jump) . . .
Ramirez took Mendoza’s wife hostage and held her until 1:30 a.m. Saturday, when a tactical team entered the house and fatally shot him, McSweeney said. The woman was unharmed.
Ramirez was wanted on felony warrants for vehicle theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm, authorities said.
Could this entire incident have been avoided? Once the deputies missed their chance to take Ramirez without gunplay, probably not. But one thing’s for sure: once the lead starts flying, never assume the police will see you as the good guy. Just as the police should never assume that someone is a bad guy. [h/t SS]