Video shows police fatally shooting double amputee who was holding knife
Huntington Park police released video of three officers approaching Anthony Lowe as he hobbles away. He is seen carrying a knife, which police said he had used to stab a man, and raises it above his head.
Huntington Park police on Monday released surveillance video showing officers shooting a knife-wielding double amputee as well as a recording of the 911 call from a stabbing victim that led to the fatal encounter.
In the video, three Huntington Park Police Department officers approach Anthony Lowe, 36, as he hobbles away. He is carrying a knife, which police said he had used to stab a man, and is seen raising it above his head.
Lowe grasps the knife as the officers train their guns at him, and at least one opens fire. He falls to the ground.
Police Chief Cosme Lozano said Monday that Huntington Park police officers do not wear body cameras. The department, he said, is cooperating with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the shooting.
Another video released Monday was recorded outside a Shell gas station at the corner of Slauson and Santa Fe avenues. The surveillance footage shows Lowe sitting in his wheelchair as a pedestrian approaches from the crosswalk. Lowe appears to lunge out of his wheelchair with a knife and stab the man in the chest. The pedestrian staggers off camera, and Lowe waits at the corner for a few seconds before crossing the street.
At a news conference Monday, family members and friends of Anthony Lowe demanded that the Huntington Park police officers who killed him be prosecuted.
Lozano played the 911 call made by the stabbing victim, who identified himself as Ramiro.
“I got stabbed in the heart right now,” Ramiro says, groaning.
The 911 dispatcher asks him to describe the attacker.
“He has no feet,” Ramiro says.
A few seconds later, Ramiro’s voice cuts off and a bystander picks up the phone, telling the dispatcher that he didn’t see the stabbing or an attacker.
Shortly after, sirens can be heard in the call.
Police said they found a man with “a life-threatening stab wound resulting in a collapsed lung and internal bleeding.”
Ramiro, whose last name has not been released, survived.
In the surveillance video of the police shooting, Lowe rolls his wheelchair onto the sidewalk on Slauson Avenue, shown in a long shot with no audio. As Lowe steers west, two officers approach him, and he moves away. One officer grabs the back of his wheelchair and throws it to the side, tossing Lowe to the ground.
It’s unclear what happens next as Lowe rights himself on what remains of his legs, hobbling away after a few seconds. The officers appear to have their weapons drawn.
Police cruisers approach and a third officer exits his car, joining the other officers with weapons drawn on the sidewalk. Lowe swings the knife above his head before he is shot and falls.
It’s unclear how many officers fired at Lowe.
As they do every week during football season, the Lowe family gathered Sunday morning to watch the NFL games on two big flat screens in the South Los Angeles home of the family matriarch.
Police said they rendered medical aid to Lowe before paramedics arrived.
Lt. Hugo Reynaga told The Times that officers repeatedly used a Taser “to no effect” before opening fire.
“He tried to run away, and every time he turned around and did the motion like he was going to throw the knife at him, they Tased him,” Reynaga said. “They were trying to give this guy the less-lethal Taser shock. And because it was ineffective, they had to go to something that was more effective.”
Seven minutes elapsed from Ramiro’s 911 call to the moment police shot Lowe, according to Lozano.
“I trust you are aware it is not I who has the authority to determine if the actions of my officers meet the legal standard of justifiable use of deadly force,” the police chief said.
Cliff Smith, an organizer with Coalition for Community Control Over the Police, watched the police conference with the Lowe family outside the Huntington Park Police Department.
“There’s nothing that the Huntington Park police portrayed that provided any justification or cover for the execution of Anthony Lowe,” Smith said. “It just reinforces that they had a multitude of options to apprehend him and let the justice system run its course.”
A Los Angeles SWAT officer who was caught on video telling “happy hunting” to other members before a fatal SWAT shooting this month received a two-day suspension following an internal investigation.
The L.A. County district attorney’s office would decide whether the shooting is justifiable. All three officers are on administrative leave pending the Sheriff’s Department investigation and the review by prosecutors.
“My condolences, thoughts and prayers for continued peace and emotional healing are with the family of Anthony Lowe,” Lozano said. “My thoughts and well wishes are with Ramiro, who was visiting Huntington Park seeking employment. My thoughts and commitment are with the men and women of the Huntington Park Police Department and the Huntington Park community.”
Lowe’s family held news conferences last week over the shooting, announcing that their attorneys were filing a civil claim that would lead to a lawsuit against the city.
“It’s sad, really sad how the police are getting away with killing our African American people,” said Ellakenyada Gorum, Lowe’s cousin. “He was in a wheelchair. What more could he do?”
“I just want the truth,” his mother, Dorothy Lowe, said. “Nothing but the truth and justice for my son. My son was murdered.”
Times staff writer Connor Sheets contributed to this report.
The stories shaping California
Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.