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VIDEO: Homeless Trespasser Violently Attacks Female Deputy Prior To Fatal Shooting

Santa Clarita, CA – Recently-released bodycam and security footage captured the moment when a homeless man trespassing at a local shopping center attacked a female Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) deputy for trying to get him to leave the area (video below).

The incident occurred outside the Macy’s department store in the Westfield Valencia Town Center just before 11 p.m. on Jan. 11, KABC reported.

LASD Deputy Lorena Gonzalez responded to the shopping center, which is located in the 24200-block of Valencia Boulevard, after receiving a call about a male trespasser, the sheriff’s office said in a press release shortly after the incident.

The caller said the suspect “was sleeping in front of the business and refused to leave,” the LASD said.

“We tried talking to him,” the caller told the 911 dispatcher in an audio recording released by the LASD. “He does not want to leave at all. He just basically wants to start a fight whenever we go up to him…Whenever we try to talk to him, he gets really irate.”

Security footage showed the suspect, later identified by the sheriff’s office as 50-year-old Christopher Lee Mercurio, sitting on the ground next to the store entrance as a patrol vehicle pulled up nearby.

Mercurio jumped to his feet and immediately approached Deputy Gonzalez after she exited the SUV.

The LASD said in the Critical Incident Briefing that Deputy Gonzalez explained to Mercurio that the sheriff’s office had received a call from security about him trespassing and told him they would like him to move along.

“Yeah, I’m not gonna move at all,” Mercurio said, cutting her off as he stood with his hands stuffed firmly into the pockets of his “ARMY” jacket. “I will actually kill every f—ker that comes here… I don’t care. That’s where I’m at.”

The suspect told her he was going to go back to sleep that that she should “do what you want to do.”

Deputy Gonzalez repeatedly tried to de-escalate the situation, but the suspect was undeterred and only “became more agitated,” the LASD said.

“I’m just letting you know. Don’t tell me what to do at all,” he told her. “I am security for the whole country… You know what? I’m going to f—k your -ss up, b—h.”

The deputy calmly told the suspect to step back, but he refused.

“Get the f—k out of here now!” Mercurio yelled, stepping towards her.

The violent suspect then attacked Deputy Gonzalez, punching her in her head and face, security and bodycam footage showed.

She radioed for help as she utilized “self-defense techniques to create distance between herself and Mercurio,” but the suspect continued to advance on her and ignore her repeated warnings, the LASD said.

“If you come any closer, I’m going to shoot you,” Deputy Gonzalez warned her attacker while holding him at gunpoint.

But Mercurio just kept coming.

“Shoot!” he yelled, just before the deputy fired off one round.

The suspect initially appeared unaffected and kept walking towards her as she yelled at him to stop, the video showed.

Deputy Gonzalez continued to back away and fired off a second round, hitting Mercurio yet again before he finally turned around and walked back to his belongings near the store entry.

The suspect sat down on the ground, then slumped over a moment later.

A second deputy arrived at the scene shortly thereafter and began delivering medical aid to Mercurio, the LASD said.

Investigators said it did not appear he was armed, KABC reported.

The suspect was subsequently rushed to the hospital by ambulance, where he was pronounced deceased.

Investigators confirmed he had been shot twice.

Deputy Gonzalez was transported to a local hospital for treatment due to injuries she suffered during the assault, the LASD said.

She was subsequently released to continue her recovery at home.

The California Department of Justice (CDOJ) Division of Law Enforcement has taken over the investigation and will forward its findings to the California Attorney General’s Office for review to determine whether Deputy Gonzalez’s use of force was justified, the LASD said.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content and Obscene Language:

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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