A 38-year-old Glendale man who was fatally wounded Thursday by Glendale police had a criminal history, including a drug sales conviction, according to Los Angeles County Superior court records.
The man, identified by coroner’s officials on Monday as Richard Hughes, was convicted in November for illegally selling marijuana after he was arrested twice by police for similar offenses, including cultivation, court records show.
Hughes was also charged in October 2008 with grand theft. In two separate incidents, Glendale police also were called to a Paula Avenue home in 2010 to investigate domestic violence reports, but no one was arrested, Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
On Thursday, Hughes’ run-ins with the law turned violent when he allegedly lunged at a Glendale police officer with a steak knife.
An officer shot Hughes once in the upper torso about 1:15 p.m. in the 1700 block of Riverside Drive after the attack, police officials said.
County coroner’s officials on Monday had not determined a cause of death for Hughes, pending an examination of his body, said the department’s spokesman, Craig Harvey.
Meanwhile, residents in the neighborhood remained jolted by the incident.
“I think it was very sad and very shocking in an otherwise peaceful equestrian neighborhood,” said Joanne Hedge, president of Glendale Rancho Homeowners Assn.
While she appreciated Glendale police protection for the area, Hedge said she had questions about the firing of a gun, especially in the densely populated neighborhood.
Police were expecting an unsettling situation when they arrived to Riverside Drive that day, Lorenz said.
Moments before, paramedics responded to the area after Hughes’ girlfriend, whose identity hasn’t been released, reported that he tried to overdose on drugs.
She also told emergency dispatchers that Hughes had a long history of suicide attempts, Lorenz said.
Paramedics who arrived on the scene reported to police that Hughes was violent and requested back up. They also warned that Hughes was breaking items and that he may have possessed a gun because they heard popping noises, Lorenz said.
When officers arrived, a police helicopter unit also warned that they had seen Hughes holding a shiny object, Lorenz added.
Hughes continued to throw objects, including a baseball bat, police said.
“This guy was acting bizarre,” Lorenz said.
As officers approached Hughes, police officials said he lunged at them with a knife, prompting an officer to fire one round.
Once Hughes was shot, paramedics transported him to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Hughes was likely trying to commit a “suicide by cop” due to witness statements — including from Hughes’ girlfriend — and evidence detectives collected at the scene, Lorenz said.
The girlfriend, who was at the scene, told police that Hughes was depressed and wanted to kill himself, Lorenz said.
-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News
Photo: Glendale police investigate the fatal shooting of Hughes after they say he attacked officers with a knife Jan. 5. Credit: Raul Roa / Times Community NewsCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times