Cop Charged With Manslaughter in Fatal 2019 Shooting of Mentally Ill 32-Year-Old

An off-duty Los Angeles police officer who shot and killed a mentally ill man shopping with his parents in 2019 is now facing manslaughter charges.

The California attorney general filed the charges against Officer Salvador Sanchez, who was arrested Monday in Riverside County.

Sanchez and 32-year-old Kenneth French were in Costco in Corona when French attacked Sanchez from behind. Sanchez, who was with his young son, was knocked to the ground and allegedly discharged his weapon, which killed French and critically injured French's parents, Russel and Paola French.

The family's lawyer has previously said that French was non-verbal and was taken off his medication for mental illness due to additional health issues, which may have affected his behavior at the time.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

LAPD Officer arrested
Los Angeles Police Officer Salvador Sanchez was recently arrested on manslaughter charges in connection with an incident where he allegedly shot and killed a mentally ill man shopping with his parents in 2019. Pictured, vintage Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) vehicles are displayed during a National Night Out event. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

French's parents have filed a federal lawsuit against Sanchez and the city.

The charges filed by California Attorney General Rob Bonta came after the Riverside County district attorney declined to charge Sanchez criminally after a grand jury did not bring an indictment in September 2019.

Riverside DA Mike Hestrin previously said Sanchez believed he had been shot in the head and that a shooter was on the loose in the store after he and his 1½-year-old son were knocked to the ground in French's unprovoked assault.

Sanchez had told investigators he believed French had a gun and that his life and his son's life were in immediate danger. Authorities said French was not armed and was moving away from Sanchez when the officer opened fire.

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners ruled last year that Sanchez had violated departmental policy in the shooting.

It was not immediately clear if Sanchez has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

The French family's attorney and the LAPD did not immediately respond to requests for comment.