Deputy shoots sword-wielding man at East L.A. high school, prompting campus lockdown

Esteban Torres High School was on lockdown Wednesday
Esteban Torres High School was on lockdown Wednesday after a sheriff’s deputy shot a man who was armed with a sword on campus.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A man wielding a 3-foot sword was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy Wednesday morning on the campus of Esteban Torres High School in East Los Angeles, prompting officials to lock down the school.

The deputy opened fire just after 9 a.m., after a man officers had been chasing ran onto the campus at 4211 Dozier St., said Los Angeles School Police Sgt. Rudy Perez.

The chase began outside a nearby home shortly before the shooting. Deputies had received calls about a family disturbance, said sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean, and when they arrived, they encountered a man who was in violation of a restraining order and was threatening the family with a 3-foot sword.

Deputies asked the man repeatedly to drop the weapon, but he refused and took off running in the direction of the high school, Dean said.


After a brief foot chase, the man jumped the school fence and ran into its outside lunch area. Deputies followed and again ordered the man to drop the sword, but he “advanced on one of the deputies,” who fired on the suspect.

Paramedics performed life-saving measures, but the man died at the scene, Dean said.

Classes were in session at the time, but some students were outside, officials said. Investigators were interviewing students who saw the altercation, Dean said.

School officials said crisis counseling was being made available to all students. Classes remained in session, and students were set to be released at the usual time. Should parents wish to pick up their children before the school day is over, they can do so at Hammel and Eastern streets, with identification.

“I am very grateful to all the authorities who have supported Esteban Torres High School and our East L.A. communities. We are hopeful parents heard the message: Your children and our employees are safe,” Los Angeles Unified School District board member Monica Garcia said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.