Last updated: 6 months ago
RIGOBERTO'S KILLING in May was one of several throughout Southern California by police, including three by the LASD. Along with Rigoberto, who was 34 years old, LASD deputies also killed Ignacio Ochoa, age 37, and Terry Laffitte, age 49, both unarmed.
Rigoberto was killed after he and his sister, Maria Arceo, were stopped by deputies on the street where he lived. According to Rigoberto's family, he and his sister left a Mother's Day celebration that evening after his brother told them he had an altercation with another man outside of his apartment.
Maria told the Los Angeles Times in June that she and Rigoberto left the celebration and went to the apartment to de-escalate the situation. However, a short while later, after they left, deputies pulled up behind the vehicle she was driving a few doors away from Rigoberto's residence.
The LASD's account of what happened next and those of Maria and two other witnesses are vastly different.
LASD Sgt. Rich Pena told the media at the time that Maria was stopped for "matching a vehicle description" which was linked to an earlier "confrontation." Pena added that after deputies ordered Rigoberto out of the car, he ignored their commands, "approached" the deputy, got into a "physical confrontation" and tried to take the deputy's gun. After the deputy supposedly retained his gun, he then fired a single shot into the upper torso of Rigoberto.
But Maria says that her brother's "hands were in the air the entire time." Maria told the LA Times that Rigoberto complied with deputies' commands and walked toward the rear of the vehicle with his hands up, but then she heard a shot. Afterward, Maria said she saw her brother "disappear" from the window where she watched his shooting unfold. Neighborhood resident Armando Garcia and his cousin, both of whom were barbecuing in a front yard at the time, corroborated Maria's recount of events.
May 2013 Vigil