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‘I’m Hit’: California Deputy Makes Up Lie About ‘Sniper’ Attack, Cuts Holes In Shirt to Make Story Stick

Multiple California law enforcement agencies are apologizing after learning a deputy “completely fabricated” a story that he was shot by a sniper Wednesday while unloading a patrol car.

Deputy Angel Reinosa, 21, admitted in an interview to detectives that he made up his entire account of what happened at 2:48 p.m. in the parking lot of the Lancaster Sheriff’s station, Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon told reporters at a press conference Saturday night.

Reinosa, who even admitted to knifing his own shirt to make it look like he had been shot, will be relieved of his duties and face a criminal investigation, Limon said.

Investigators told NBC LA they grew suspicious of Reinosa’s story when he arrived at an emergency room with no visible injuries.

Reinosa had told them he was struck in the shoulder and that a second bullet just missed him.

“I’m taking shots from the north of the Lancaster helipad,” Reinosa in a dispatch recording NBC 4 obtained.

“I think I’m hit in the right shoulder, it might have gone through…my shirt’s ripped alright,” he later said in the recording. “I think it’s from the apartment windows. There’s multiple windows open.”

The report led to a room-by-room search of an adjacent four-story apartment building, NBC LA reported.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris described the alleged shooter as a “sniper,” but said no one was found, the Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter early Thursday.

The sheriff’s department also said two people briefly detained as “uncooperative” in the search had nothing to do with it.

“Deputies at the location evacuated him,” Lancaster station Capt. Todd Weber told reporters of Reinosa’s rescue. “He is doing great, has a minor wound, is in high spirits, and should make a full recovery. Very lucky.”

“This is not adding up,” one source familiar with the investigation later told NBC LA.

LA County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Captain Kent Wegener, who called the story “self-serving,” told reporters the deputy provided no motive for the lie.

“There was no sniper, no shots fired, and no gunshot injury sustained to his shoulder ― completely fabricated,” Wegener said.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a statement Sunday he dropped everything Wednesday and spent “needless time and energy” rather than delaying reporting on what happened.

“As Sheriff, I am responsible for my deputies and am embarrassed & incredibly disappointed at what this Deputy did,” he said in the statement. “I apologize to our community and our elected officials who rallied in our support.”

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