Family of hostage fatally shot in L.A. tries to understand

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SEATTLE (AP) — Relatives of an aspiring television producer from Washington who was mistakenly killed Monday by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are remembering John Winkler as “a kind, funny, smart young man.”

Winkler’s uncle, Craig Dawson, called him “an incredibly giving young man” with “a bright wit and kind word for anyone he met.”

Authorities in Los Angeles said Alexander McDonald, 27, took Winkler, 30, and two others hostage in a West Hollywood apartment, then began stabbing and fighting with them.

Someone called 911, and arriving deputies were told the hostage-taker was a thin man in a black shirt.

“The door suddenly opened and a man with blood spurting from his neck entered the doorway,” with Winkler — a thin man wearing a black shirt — running after him, Interim Los Angeles County Sheriff John Scott said.

Three deputies fired four shots, hitting Winkler.

McDonald, 27, is charged with torture, murder and two counts of attempted murder.