In the early morning hours of June 27, 2013, a team of Los
Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies pulled up to the home
of Eugene Mallory, an 80-year-old retired engineer living in the
rural outskirts of Los Angeles county with his wife Tonya Pate and
stepson Adrian Lamos.
The deputies crashed through the front gate and began executing
a search warrant for methamphetamine on the property. Detective
Patrick Hobbs, a self-described narcotics expert who claimed he
“smelled the strong odor of chemicals” downwind from the house
after being tipped off to illegal activity from an anonymous
informant, spearheaded the investigation.
The deputies announced their presence, and Pate emerged from the
trailer where she’d been sleeping to escape the sweltering summer
heat of the California desert. Lamos and a couple of friends
emerged from another trailer, and a handyman tinkering with a car
on the property also gave himself up without resistance. But
Mallory, who preferred to sleep in the house, was nowhere to be
Deputies approached the house, and what happened next is where
things get murky. The deputies said they announced their presence
upon entering and were met in the hallway by the 80-year-old man,
wielding a gun and stumbling towards them. The deputies later
changed the story when the massive bloodstains on Mallory’s
mattress indicated to investigators that he’d most likely been in
bed at the time of the shooting. Investigators also found that an
audio recording of the incident revealed a
discrepancy in the deputies’ original narrative:
Before listening to the audio recording, [Sgt. John] Bones
believed that he told Mallory to “Drop the gun” prior to the
shooting. The recording revealed, however, that his commands to
“Drop the gun” occurred immediately after the shooting.
When it was all over, Eugene Mallory died of six gunshot wounds
from Sgt. John Bones’ MP-5 9mm submachine gun. When a coroner
arrived, he found the loaded .22 caliber pistol the two deputies
claimed Mallory had pointed at them on the bedside table.
Mallory had not fired a single shot. The raid turned up no
evidence of methamphetamine on the property.
To find out more about this case, including details about what
the police did find, watch the above video, featuring Mallory’s
widow Tonya Pate. Pate has
filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Los Angeles
Sheriff’s Department, an agency plagued by
prison abuse scandals,
questionable hiring practices, and
allegations of racial profiling and harassment in recent
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department declined multiple
requests to comment on this story.
Approximately 7:30. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by
Tracy Oppenheimer and Zach Weissmueller. Additional voice acting by
Paul Detrick, Alex Manning, and Oppenheimer.
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