Family of fatally shot hostage tries to understand

SEATTLE (AP) -- Relatives of an aspiring television producer from Washington state who was mistakenly killed by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies are remembering John Winkler as "a kind, funny, smart young man," and say they're trying to understand why he died "in such a tragic way."

In a statement issued Friday through the Seattle law firm of Osborn Machler, Winkler's uncle, Craig Dawson, described the 30-year-old who died earlier this week as "an incredibly giving young man" with "a bright wit and kind word for anyone he met."

Dawson added the family is seeking to understand "the reasons why the sheriff's deputies shot and killed John."

Authorities in Los Angeles said Thursday that Winkler was a hostage who was fleeing from a knife-wielding attacker at a West Hollywood apartment.

Friends say Winkler moved to California six months ago.

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