Deputy who killed homeless man in Castaic is identified
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has identified the deputy who shot and killed a homeless man in Castaic on Aug. 2.
William Armand Bowers, 51, died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
Jeffrey Brito, the deputy who shot him, was hired in April 1999 and is assigned to the department's Santa Clarita Valley Station, according to a letter from the Sheriff's Department Discovery Unit, which responds to Public Records Act requests.
Two patrol deputies pursued Bowers, who was white, after he allegedly ignored their orders to stop in a hotel parking lot rode away on his bicycle. Bowers dropped his bike and ran alongside a parked big rig truck, sheriff's Lt. Joe Mendoza said.
One of the deputies chased on foot, but his partner, Brito, drove the patrol car to the front of the truck and stepped out, facing Bowers, Mendoza said. Brito told investigators that he feared for his safety based on the positioning of Bowers' hands and fired once.
Investigators later determined that Bowers was not carrying a weapon, Mendoza said.
The case is still under investigation, Mendoza said. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office will review the final reports to decide whether Brito violated the law. The Sheriff's Department refused to comment on whether the deputy faces any disciplinary action because the county is required to keep personnel matters private.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.