Police fatally shoot man they say had knife after standoff at Pacoima home

City Hall reflected on the doors of Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in downtown L.A.
City Hall reflected on the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in downtown L.A.
(Nick Agro/For The Times)

Los Angeles police officers fatally shot a 23-year-old man who allegedly charged at officers with a knife after a more than hourlong standoff at his family’s Pacoima home early Tuesday, authorities said.

The shooting occurred after family members called police to the home — but before a mental health team comprised of a specially trained LAPD officer and an L.A. County clinical psychologist could make it across the city to the scene to better communicate with the man, LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the civilian Police Commission.

The shooting was the fourth by LAPD officers this year, and the first fatal one. There had been three LAPD shootings at this time last year, Moore said.


It was the second shooting by L.A. police since Friday, when officers shot and wounded a man who they allege had a gun in the Hollenbeck area.

Officers first responded to the Pacoima home in the 12900 block of Desmond Street about 2 a.m. Tuesday in response to a reported assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

“The radio call indicated a family member was at the house and armed with a knife attempting to hit people and was possibly under the influence of narcotics,” the LAPD said in a statement. “Additional family members were locked in their rooms.”

Officers were able to evacuate the family members from the home, but the suspect remained inside despite efforts by officers to coax him out using a “public address system,” Moore said.

Then, about 3:30 a.m., the man “came out a side window of the house armed with a knife,” police said.

Officers fired a 40-millimeter hard foam projectile at the man, but he “continued to charge toward officers” and was simultaneously shot with a beanbag projectile and at least one live round, police said.


Moore said two officers opened fire. The man was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No officers were injured.

Addressing the fact that the shooting occurred as the specialized mental health team was en route from the Harbor Division on the opposite end of the city, Moore said that it is his desire for the department to have four such teams working in different corners of the city at any given time, but that that is not always possible, given the limited number of clinical psychologists working such shifts.

Moore said 70 officers are assigned to such teams, and he is working with Dr. Jonathan Sherin, L.A. County’s director of mental health, to boost staffing of clinicians.

“I’m committed to fully staffing this but the limitation at this point continues to be the clinical psychologists,” Moore said.