Off-duty officer shot man who hit him at Costco in California, police say

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CORONA, Calif. (AP) — An off-duty police officer opened fire inside a Costco Wholesale warehouse store, killing a man who had attacked him and wounding two others, the Corona Police Department said.

Kenneth French, 32, of Riverside assaulted the Los Angeles Police Department officer Friday night while he was holding his young child, the department said in a statement Saturday. The officer fired his gun, hitting French and two of French’s relatives, the department said.

French was killed, the department said. The relatives are in critical conditions at hospitals.

The officer, whose identity is being withheld, was treated and released at a nearby hospital, and the officer’s child was not injured, the department said.

The officer was the only person who fired shots in the store, the department said.

The shooting prompted a stampede of frightened shoppers to flee the store east of Los Angeles and seek cover inside.

Witnesses said they saw a man with a Mohawk haircut arguing with someone near a freezer section when shots rang out at least six times. The man involved in the argument was killed, Corona police Lt. Jeff Edwards said.

Witnesses said there was an altercation. Shoppers and employees described terror and chaos when shots rang out shortly before 8 p.m. Friday and police swarmed the store.

Shrieks from inside the store were heard on video recorded by shopper Nikki Tate, who had stopped by with her daughter to pick up steaks and lobsters for Father’s Day.

Tate said Saturday she was by the meat section when she heard “about six or seven shots.” She dropped to the ground and crawled toward her daughter who was at the other end. They huddled until they were able to escape through a side door.

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