Rookie LA cop, 21, is fired after he ‘completely fabricated’ story about being shot by a sniper
Sheriff’s Depp. Angel Reinosa claimed he was shot while walking to his car in the police parking lot in Lancaster, California
He said a bullet deflected off his vest and hit his shoulder Wednesday at 2.45pm
The incident led S.W.A.T teams searching for gunman in a nearby apartment block until 5.30am
Authorities said it was ‘completely fabricated’ and he will face charges
SWAT teams descended from helicopters and from armored vehicles to search the area after Angel Reinosa claimed to have been shot by a sniper while in the police parking lot
A rookie Los Angeles cop has been fired after he ‘completely fabricated’ a story about being shot by a sniper.
Angel Reinosa, 21, has been ‘relieved of his duties’ after it was discovered he lied about the incident in Lancaster, California, at around 2.45pm on Wednesday.He claimed to have been struck by a bullet while walking to his car in the police parking lot, and said a sniper in a four-story apartment complex nearby had shot him.
This led to a SWAT team searching every room in the building and the surrounding area, which concluded at around 5.30am Thursday.
At a press conference on Saturday, Homicide Bureau Captain Kent Wegener said the deputy had cut holes in his T-shirt with a knife to make it look like a wound.
After Reinosa claimed to have been shot by a sniper while in the police parking lot, SWAT teams descended from helicopters and from armored vehicles to search the area.
Homicide Bureau Captain Kent Wegener and Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon claimed the incident to have been ‘completely fabricated’ by deputy Angel Reinosa at a press conference on Saturday.
The extensive search continued until around 5.30am in morning, teams searched every room in the apt complex, surveying the area, verifying a report that the Sheriff’s Dept. says sniper story was ‘completely fabricated’
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris’ Statement Regarding False Report of a Sniper
Wegner said: ‘Things didn’t add up. There was no sniper, no shots fired and no gunshot injuries sustained to his shoulder. Completely fabricated.’
No ballistic evidence was found at the scene and no nearby witnesses heard any gunshots either, he added.
Reinosa, who was a rookie with the department for a year, has not revealed why he made-up the incident and has since been fired.
The nearby apartment complex where the deputy claimed the shots were fired from overlooked the police parking lot.
The dwellings are government subsidized for the homeless and mentally ill, where police often break-up fights, Los Angeles Daily News reported.
In a 911 recording Reinosa told law enforcement: ‘Have taken shots from the north of Lancaster helipad.
‘Heard two shots go off. I’m hit in the right shoulder. It might have gone through.’
Before the recent revelations, Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris said: ‘Think about what happened today, a sniper took out one of our deputies.
‘The only reason that deputy is alive is because he had his vest on.’
Parris added that it was ‘insanity’ for the apartment block of ‘that population in that location.’
‘Thank God we don’t have a funeral,’ he added.
Police cordoned-off the area and searched until the early hours of Thursday morning searching for an alleged shooter after the reported sniper fire on a cop which has turned into out to have been a hoax
Investigators who met Saturday with 21-year-old Deputy Angel Reinosa “saw no visible injury to Reynosa’s shoulder,” department officials said.
Officials told reporters several things did not add up: No bullets were recovered in the parking lot, no cars were struck by gunfire and many people in the vicinity did not hear any gunshots.
After getting interrogated due to doubts raised from his testimony, Reinosa admitted that he was not shot at from an apartment complex near the station as he previously claimed, sheriff’s Capt. Ken Wegener said.
“He also told investigators that he had caused the holes in his uniform shirt by cutting it with a knife,” Wegener said. “There was no sniper, no shots fired and no gunshot injury sustained to his shoulder. “[It was] completely fabricated.”
Reynosa has failed to provide information concerning his motivation, according to Wegener.
A criminal investigation has been launched, Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon said.
“We intend on relieving Deputy Reinosa of his duties,” Limon said.
The investigation is ongoing and the Sheriff’s Department plans to present the case to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office for consideration of charges that could include false reporting of an emergency, the captain said.
Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon confirmed Reinosa had been fired and said the department was ‘incredibly disappointed’ by the incident.
Activist Najee Ali, an outspoken critic of law enforcement, has called for the officer to be immediately arrested.
Ali said: ‘There were several people who were detained by the deputies while they were investigating a fabricated shooting.
‘He endangered the lives of everyone in that building. The waste of taxpayers dollars and manpower hours are inexcusable.’