Crime & Justice

Family of Compton man fatally shot by FBI plans wrongful death claim

Frank Stoltze/KPCC

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The family of a Compton man fatally shot last week by the FBI said Thursday they are filing a wrongful death claim against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for its part in the shooting.

An attorney for the family said it plans to file a claim against the FBI next week.

On Aug. 25, an FBI agent shot David Coborubio, 31, at his home while agents were attempting to serve a search warrant to his friend Paul White, who was wanted on a parole violation. 

The search warrant was obtained by the sheriff's department, which participates in a joint task force with the FBI in Compton called the Violence Reduction Network. The FBI conducted the raid.

White was a neighbor and had come to Coborubio's home to play video games that evening, according to Coborubio's family members, who spoke to reporters in front of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in Downtown Los Angeles Thursday morning. 

The family's attorney, Jaime Segall-Gutierrez, said the men were drinking beer in a detached garage on the property when they saw an armed man at a gate at the end of the driveway. 

Coborubio was shot as he ran toward the backdoor of the home, Segall-Gutierrez said. 

Coborubio's mother, Mona Martinez, who said she was inside the home at the time, told reporters she heard three gunshots, followed by the sound of an agent who yelled "FBI."

Coborubio was hit once and died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

"He lay dying on the door of my bedroom," Martinez said. "He came to warn me. ... I saw my baby at the door of my room dying."

In a statement, the FBI said a "confrontation" took place on the property and a gun was recovered at the scene, although it did provide a more specific location.

An FBI spokeswoman would not say whether Coborubio was armed or even whether the agent who fired believed he was armed.

“In order to carry out a fair and objective investigation, we have not provided details beyond what was contained in the statement,” said spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

Segall-Gutierrez said he has spoken to White, who is now in county jail. He said White told him he didn't see a weapon on Coborubio.

Segall-Gutierrez described Coborubio as "frail," about 5 feet 2 inches tall, and weighing about 120 pounds. He said Coborubio had beaten cancer as a child and was on disability because he was legally blind in one eye.

Coborubio's sister Margaret said her brother had a 9-year-old daughter and was a handyman who helped people in the neighborhood. Martinez, his mother, said he also took care of a schizophrenic younger brother. 

"He's very loving and caring," his sister said. "That's why he had a lot of friends, a lot of loved ones."

This story has been updated.