A sheriff’s deputy in California allegedly faked a story that he was shot by a sniper. Charges against Angel Reinsoa, 21, are pending, authorities announced Saturday night.
“Unfortunately, at this time, we are incredibly disappointed to have to report to you that the reported sniper assault was fabricated by our deputy. The investigation is ongoing, and a criminal investigation has been launched,” said Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon of the L.A. Sheriff’s Department. “We intend on relieving deputy Angel Reinosa of his duties.”
As far as authorities were originally concerned, Reinosa had been shot on Wednesday. He claimed to have been fired at while in the parking lot of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lancaster station. The alleged gunman was said to have been in a nearby apartment building.
At the time, authorities took the story at face value. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Harris said Reinosa survived because he was wearing his bulletproof vest, according to ABC News.
“He was getting ready to take that vest off,” said Harris. “Had he done so, it would’ve been a much more tragic situation.”
Now investigators are saying Reinosa made up the story. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel responded to the help call at Lancaster on Wednesday, said Capt. Ken Wegener. Reinosa was treated for a grazing gunshot wound in the shoulder. Investigators searched the apartment building and nearby area, but found no one.
The deputy claimed that the two holes in his uniform shirt were caused by the gunfire, said Wegener. Reinosa admitted to wrongdoing under questioning: He was not shot at. There were no shots at all. He allegedly created the holes by using a knife.
“So much of his statement was self-serving,” said Wegener. “Didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but he didn’t get into detail as to why he cut the holes. Or why he fabricated the story. No motivation.”
Charges are up to the district attorney’s office, said Wegener.
Reinosa could not be immediately reached for comment as of press time.
He was on training status at the time of the shooting, said Wegener.
[Screengrab of authorities investigating the aftermath of the shooting report via ABC News]