LANCASTER, C.A. — The California sheriff’s deputy at the center of what was described as a sniper shooting admitted that he made it all up, authorities said.
“There was no sniper, no shots fired, and no gunshot injuries sustained to his shoulder,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s (LASD) Homicide Bureau Capt. Kent Wegener told reporters at a news conference on Saturday night.
Deputy Angel Reinosa, 21, had previously said he was shot while walking to his personal car outside of the sheriff’s station in Lancaster on Wednesday. The bullet came from a four-story apartment building across the street that houses people with mental health problems, Mayor R. Rex Parris said at the time, adding that a bulletproof vest saved Reinosa’s life by deflecting the bullet into his shoulder.
Police said Reinosa was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a minor, non-penetrating wound and that a pellet gun was retrieved from one of the apartments.
The sheriff’s department said the incident was targeting a deputy. The mayor described the shooter as a sniper.
Police didn’t find a shooter. But a nearby school was put on lockdown and officials said students were evacuated.
Reinosa said he fabricated the entire incident, but did not provide a motive, Wegener said.
Reinosa will be relieved of his duties, and a criminal investigation into the incident is ongoing, LASD Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon said. Upon completion of the investigation, the case will be presented to the district attorney’s office for filing consideration.