On Wednesday, August 21st, Angel Reinosa, a 21-year-old Lancaster Sheriff's department trainee, called dispatchers to say that he was shot by a 'sniper' while walking to his car in the parking lot of the station.
The incident triggered a huge manhunt in the area and an apartment building where Reinosa said the shots may have come from was locked down and searched.
Three days later, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department said in a press conference that the incident was a hoax, that Reinosa confessed to making it all up. Why he made up the story is still unclear. Reinosa has been fired by the department and could face criminal charges.
Despite reports that some in the Sheriff's Department thought the incident was a hoax fairly early on, Sheriff Alex Villanueva defended the department's actions and said that they had 'no choice' but to believe Reinosa until they had enough evidence to prove otherwise.
The incident angered local residents and other members of the department. But especially upset, were the residents of the apartment complex that was locked down and searched while police looked for the alleged sniper.
One of those residents is Jaime Flores, a formerly homeless double amputee that lives in the building. He's so mad at the treatment he received that day by Sheriff's Deputies that he's planning to sue L.A. County for 'harassment.'
Flores told ABC7 that during their search of the building, deputies disrespected him saying they:
- trashed his apartment
- threw food from his refrigerator
- disabled his electric wheelchair
District Attorney Jackie Lacey says her office is trying to determine whether or not Reinosa should face criminal charges after what he put the community through, saying:
"Imagine how they were harassed and how they were treated by the deputies, so he really caused a lot of harm to the community."