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Deputy 'Shot by Sniper' Really Wasn't: Sheriff

Deputy Angel Reinosa will likely be relieved of duty
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2019 11:45 AM CDT
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This photo taken from video provided by KABC-TV shows a sheriff's department helicopter with a sniper in an open door searching for a gunman at large in Lancaster, Calif. on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019.   (KABC-TV via AP)
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(Newser) – A California sheriff's deputy who claimed he was shot by a sniper has 'fessed up: He really wasn't, authorities say. In a Saturday night presser, Capt. Kent Wegener of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. said Deputy Angel Reinosa's tale grew thinner when he was questioned about the incident on Saturday, KABC reports. "There was no sniper, no shots fired and no gunshot injury sustained to his shoulder," said Wegener. "Completely fabricated." That means the subsequent manhunt was totally needless. The DA's office will look into possible charges, per ABC News, but Wegener thought they "could start with false report of an emergency."

It all began Wednesday when Reinosa called in an alarming radio report from a sheriff's station parking lot in Lancaster, about an hour north of LA. "I have taken shots from the north of the Lancaster helipad," he reportedly said. "I think I'm hit in the right shoulder." Officers spent hours searching an apartment building across the street, questioning and detaining people. But certain things didn't add up, like a lack of ballistic evidence in the parking lot. And Reinosa—who claimed his bulletproof vest had ricocheted a bullet against his shoulder—had actually cut holes in his clothing and made up the story, officials say, per CBS Los Angeles. A trainee, Reinosa will likely be relieved of duty. Officials say his motive is unclear. (Read more sniper stories.)

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