A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was charged this week in the fatal shooting of a suicidal father of three who had already been shot by police and was on the ground.
Remin Pineda, 38, faces felony charges of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and assault under color of authority related to the March 14, 2021 death of David Ordaz, 34. His arraignment is not yet scheduled, DA George Gascón’s office shared in a statement Thursday.
According to an incident report previously released by the LASD, Pineda was among several officers who responded to Ordaz’s family’s home last year after his sister called authorities saying that her brother was suicidal and carrying a knife.
After being coaxed out of a car, Ordaz approached the officers with the knife in hand while “telling the deputies to shoot him,” the report alleges. Body cam footage shows he was briefly stunned by non-fatal rounds before he continued to move toward police, at which point the deputies opened fire.
After Ordaz fell to the ground and was pinned by officers, Pineda allegedly continued to fire his handgun. Ordaz was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
The incident subsequently prompted widespread media coverage, not to mention a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the Ordaz family against Pineda and three other deputies, whom they accuse of using “unnecessary and lethal force.”
Ordaz, an amateur boxer and a father of three, had a history of mental health issues and wanted to commit “suicide by cop,” the Daily Beast reported. Days after the family’s lawsuit was filed in July 2021, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva released a statement saying he had “grave concerns” about the event, and that it was under investigation.
The three other officers named in the Ordazs’ suit – Deputy Edwin Navarrete, Deputy Jaime Romero, and Deputy Nathaniel Trujillo – have not been charged with a crime.
“‘Unlawful and excessive force at the hands of police erodes the public trust and leads to further divisions between law enforcement and the communities they serve,’” Gascón is quoted in the statement. “‘It is imperative that we hold law enforcement accountable when they act unlawfully. This tragic killing of Mr. Ordaz in the presence of his own family has caused tremendous harm that will reverberate for years to come.’”
The Instagram account @saytheirnamesla celebrated the charges alongside Ordaz’s loved ones, sharing a joint post shortly after the statement was made public.
“We are sending love and strength to the entire Ordaz family who has fought endlessly to receive accountability from the murderous sheriff [sic] department,” the caption reads. “We love you and we will continue to stand with you in this fight because it is not over.”
Councilman Johnathan Hernandez of nearby Santa Ana commented on the post, writing “This is huge! Justice for David.”