A Los Angeles police officer shot and killed a man carrying an object later identified as a microphone stand after a traffic stop and chase Wednesday night in Van Nuys.
Capt. Kris Pitcher of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Force Investigation Division said Thursday that it was “far too early” to make any judgments about the incident that left Byron San Jose, 25, dead at the scene. Pitcher declined to say whether the officer thought the stand and its tripod were a weapon.
The incident began shortly before 7 p.m. near Cedros Avenue and Valerio Street. Two LAPD motorcycle officers stopped a 1993 Saturn for a traffic violation. As officers approached the car, which was carrying four passengers, the driver sped off and a short chase ensued, Pitcher said.
The car then slowed and San Jose got out of the back seat. As the car took off again, he “walked briskly toward the officers” carrying the 2-foot-long microphone stand. Officer Derek Mousseau of the Valley Traffic Division fired several shots, according to Pitcher, who declined to give a specific count because the incident was still under investigation. Nearby residents reported hearing four or five shots.
The car was found abandoned about a mile away. The three men who had fled on foot, including the driver, were apprehended. Two were released after questioning. The driver, whom police declined to identify, remained in custody on an outstanding warrant and was expected to be charged with evading arrest. The fifth man was being sought.