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Sister of Man Fatally Shot by Deputies in Yucaipa: 'He Was Not Violent'

Merlin Factor, 26, in a photo shared by his sister, Cassandra Hudson of Yucaipa.
Merlin Factor, 26, in a photo shared by his sister, Cassandra Hudson of Yucaipa.
The sister of a man who was fatally shot by deputies Saturday in Yucaipa contacted Redlands-Loma Linda Patch on Monday because she wants people to know her brother was a recovering addict, but he was a peaceful man.

"My brother Merlin Factor was a beautiful person," Cassandra Hudson, 31, of Yucaipa said. "He was not violent. He was never known to carry a weapon. I want the rest of the community to know what kind of person my brother was. 

"If anyone could say anything negative about him it is he was an addict and he didn't have a home," Hudson said Monday evening in a phone interview. "Technically he's my half-brother, but we were blood, we have the same mom. We were extremely close."

Factor, 26, was suspected in a vandalism/disturbance call in the 12900 block of 2nd Street on Saturday afternoon, before deputies stopped a vehicle in front of 1st Baptist Church on Yucaipa Boulevard, according to the Sheriff's Department.

About 4:30 p.m. June 29, a struggle ensued and deputies, fearing for their lives, shot Factor, according to law enforcement and witnesses. Paramedics responded and took Factor to Redlands Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m., according to the coroner.

"From what I've heard from witnesses, he was murdered in cold blood," Hudson said. "I don't want to piss off any cops, but just because you have a badge you don't have a right to pop off 11 shots. I've seen the video online. I've counted the shots. I believe they used extreme excessive force, put it that way."

Sheriff's homicide detectives are among those assigned to investigate the deputy involved shooting.

Factor was born at St. Bernardine's Hospital in San Bernardino and he grew up in Yucaipa, Hudson said. He attended a vocational school in Yucaipa, Hudson said.

"He never had a chance to have children of his own," Hudson said. "But he was a beautiful, peaceful person, and he really loved his nephews and niece. . . .  Ryan Crook, 16, Justin, 9, Michael Barnt, 10, Ashley Barnt, 12. They're my children.

"I cannot express it in strong enough words: He was not a violent person. He didn't like to fight. He was afraid to get hurt. I wasn't there and I didn't see what happened, so I don't know what happened.

"But he never owned a gun or carried a gun or any other kind of weapon, that I know of," Hudson said.

Asked about where Factor lived most recently, Hudson said, "Most recently he didn't have his own place, he had just got out of Set Free.

"He had a drug and alcohol problem," Hudson said. "He was at the ranch in Cabazon, and at the Set Free Church in Yucaipa, but he wasn't able to stay sober."

Asked about the woman who was with Factor on Saturday during the alleged vandalism/disturbance, Hudson said, "They were dating, they had been dating on and off."

Hudson said she hadn't spoken to the woman since her brother died. She said she hopes people in Yucaipa will consider her brother and his life before they pass judgment.

The photo she shared of Factor was taken in February this year, while he was still at Set Free, Hudson said.

"I want other people to care about what happened," she said. "I think in the photo you can see his warmth, the love in his eyes."

Previous Patch reports are at the following links:

UPDATE: Sheriff's Department IDs Suspect Fatally Shot by Deputies in Yucaipa

VIDEO: Deputies Shoot Suspect 'Struggling, Reaching for Waistband' in 1st Baptist Church Lot
Jeremiah July 23, 2013 at 08:32 AM
Yucaipa Truth - where do you get off insulting a person's family because their opinion is different than yours? Every few days you show up and never offer anything constructive. That is the definition of a troll. Is that what you want to be? You can't just offer your opinion on the subject without all the insults to others? **** Guess your defense attorney didn't get you off, aye? So now you hate them all? **** Jeremiah
Victoria July 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Jeremiah, why are we wasting time on this troll? Yucaipa Troll: sometimes cops and felons can sound exactly alike and you just proved it. As I've said before...gang and criminal mentality go together like peas in a pod. My husband became a defense attny AND worked for the PD for 27 yrs. instead of going into private practice so he could help those that couldn't help themselves. I am a hospice nurse for the same exact reason. What do you do for a living Yucaipa Troll? Other than commit felonies, of course. Good, well trained, level headed cops could have handled this situation much differently and no one would have died needlessly. The Troll sounds like a Thug.
Victoria July 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM
P.S. The gang criminal mentality I am referring to is comparing you, Yucaipa Troll, to that of the cops. And Jeremiah, you nailed it....he has a "hate on" for defense attny's cause they didn't get him off. Bingo. I bet Yucaipa Troll (YT) would have been a cop if he wasn't a criminal. Hey, YT, can you even vote again yet? Ouch. Let me guess YT, you weren't guilty, right? Some aren't, but I would bet you were.
ATC July 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM
Wow, and Jeremiah claims that YT is the one insulting those who have a different opinion? Victoria, you should look in the mirror occasionally, you might actually be surprised at what you see. You claim that you and your husband are practically saints, devoting your lives to helping those that can't help themselves...I see something entirely different based on your hatred of law enforcement and those who still believe that rogue cops are the minority. In fact, IF you're really a Hospice nurse, it's likely so that you can rob dying people behind their backs. To each his/her own. Rest assured, you will find exactly what you spend all of your time looking for. I'm not going to waste any more time here, you obviously have an entirely different perspective than I.
Victoria July 23, 2013 at 01:05 PM
ATC, I do not rob dying people I'm taking care of in their homes. And, rest assured, you'll never make a saint out of me. However, I do not hate law enforcement....I just don't like the untrained cops in Yucaipa. You seem to assume a lot and know very little. Glad to hear you're moving on...now make it happen.

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