Carla Wade, 52, sued the county and Deputy Edward Fitzgerald over the death of her son, Nephi Arreguin. The lawsuit claims Arreguin was unarmed and that Fitzgerald used excessive force on him. Arreguin’s toddler son, born after Arreguin died, is also a plaintiff.
Tuesday’s settlement follows the approval in July of nearly $5.4 million to settle three wrongful-death suits against the Sheriff’s Department. A Times review of misconduct-claim payouts over the last five years found that such payouts topped $50 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year.
The shooting occurred late on a Thursday afternoon in May 2015, when deputies were called to the 17200 block of Pires Avenue in Cerritos to investigate a call of a suspicious person.
According to the complaint, Arreguin was seated in a parked car when Fitzgerald approached and “began, unreasonably, without justification, shooting into the vehicle.”
After being shot, the complaint says, Arreguin drove away but “ultimately succumbed to the gunshot wound within a short distance...crashing his automobile into a nearby fire hydrant and brick wall.”
Arreguin, the complaint adds, was not armed and made no threat to harm a peace officer or bystander.
In their response, attorneys for the county wrote that Arreguin was approached and eventually shot “after he disobeyed commands, started the engine and drove at [and] struck a deputy who fired in self defense.”
Read More: L A Times (Nina Agrawal )