By Paloma Sifuentes
WHITTIER, CA – Two former Whittier police detectives have been arrested and charged in the 2020 shooting that left an unarmed man paralyzed, said Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón Wednesday.
Gascón said Cynthia Lopez has been charged with two felony counts of assault under the color of authority and one felony count of assault with a semi-automatic firearm shooting at an occupied vehicle.
Gascón explained that, on April 30, 2020, both officers were on duty when they noticed a vehicle that resembled one from a robbery committed by a female at a Walmart a month prior.
Nicholas Carrillo was pulled over by the officers in an alleyway, and, said Gascón, when Carrillo tried to reverse, he bumped into the front of the officers’ vehicle.
Lopez fired at the rear windshield while Carrillo was still in the driver’s seat, and as he allegedly started to flee she shot at him two more times, missing.
Both Lopez and Murillo started to chase after Carrillo as he fled. The victim started to climb a six-foot fence and as he was doing so, Murillo fired several more shots, two of them hitting Carrillo’s back. One of the shots had left him paralyzed from the waist down, said Gascón, noting Carrillo was unarmed and no firearm was found in his vehicle.
“Police are afforded great power and with that power comes great responsibility. Human life is precious and you should never use lethal force unless it’s necessary in defense of human life,” said DA Gascón.