Police shoot and kill man they say was holding relative at knifepoint in West L.A.

Los Angeles police gather at the scene of a fatal shooting.
An investigation is underway following a fatal police shooting Monday morning in the Mar Vista area.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles police fatally shot a man Monday morning in West Los Angeles after finding him holding an elderly relative at knifepoint, department officials said.

A neighbor called 911 shortly before 6 a.m. and reported “someone screaming in distress from a neighboring apartment” in the 3700 block of Barry Avenue in Mar Vista, said Det. Meghan Aguilar, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department.

When Pacific Division officers got to the apartment, they saw a man in his 50s holding a “much older” woman at knifepoint inside, Aguilar said. At least one officer fired at the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.


Aguilar said there was “very minimal gunfire” but did not know the precise number of shots fired, or if multiple officers fired rounds. That will be part of the ongoing investigation, she said.

The older woman told investigators that the man, who did not live at the apartment, had broken into her apartment that morning and was trying to force her to take him to an undisclosed location, Aguilar said.

“The screaming heard was her protesting that,” Aguilar said.

Police would not say how the man and woman were related. Neither was immediately identified.

The woman was not injured, nor were any officers, Aguilar said.

The department’s Force Investigation Division is investigating the shooting and will report its findings to police commanders and the civilian Police Commission, which is standard in all police shootings.

Hours after the shooting, police still had the area blocked off with yellow police tape as detectives came and went from the apartment complex.