Number of L.A. County police killings climbs to 22 this year
Los Angeles County law enforcement officers shot and killed five people in four days over the long holiday weekend.
The shootings brought the number of people killed by police in the county to 22 since the start of 2015, according to public records.
Authorities said one man killed by police in West Covina was carrying a knife. A 29-year-old man in Lakewood tried to run down deputies with a car, according to authorities. Another man pulled a gun on a deputy in Lancaster, officials said.
One man, identified by his wife as Johnny Ray Anderson, 43, was unarmed. A sheriff’s deputy fired at Anderson on Sunday night in Hawaiian Gardens, sending a single gunshot into his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Now I’ve lost him,” his wife, Kathleen Anderson, said Monday. “He had plenty of life left in him and they took it from him.”
What led up to Johnny Ray Anderson’s death was unclear. Sheriff’s officials said deputies responded about 9:40 p.m. to a reported prowler in the 12200 block of 216th Street. Deputies found Anderson in a backyard, where he was fatally shot.
But according to Kathleen Anderson, her husband was fixing a bicycle when a sheriff’s cruiser parked near the abandoned home where the couple was squatting. They had been homeless since moving in April from Iowa.
“We were scared,” she said. “We knew we had trespassed.”
Johnny Ray Anderson was listed on a gang injunction and didn’t want to be arrested, Kathleen Anderson said. At the sight of law enforcement, he climbed over a fence into a neighboring property. About seven hours later, a detective said he was dead.
The shooting is under investigation by the district attorney’s office and the Sheriff’s Department, as are the other incidents.
Five miles away on Adenmoor Avenue in Lakewood, several sheriff’s deputies responded Monday to reports of a man “acting strangely” after failing to take his medication, Lt. Eddie Hernandez said. The man, described only as 29 years old, was pronounced dead about 11 a.m.
Detectives said he was unarmed but refused to get out of his black BMW after crashing it head-on into a deputy’s patrol car. He repeatedly drove forward and reversed, and deputies unsuccessfully used “different levels of non-lethal force,” including pepper spray and Tasers, Hernandez said.
Deputies continued struggling with the man, who struck a deputy with his open driver’s side door, trapping him between the BMW and a patrol car. At that point, four deputies opened fire, and an unknown number of bullets struck the man.
On Friday, deputies in the sheriff’s gang unit were patrolling in Lancaster about 11:30 p.m. when they stopped a vehicle with two people inside, Deputy Sara Rodriguez said. As deputies got out of their car, a man pulled out a semiautomatic pistol.
At least one of the deputies shot the armed man in the upper torso, killing him. Rodriguez said a handgun was found next to his body.
About three hours earlier that day, police in West Covina shot and killed Cesar A. Limon Juarez, whom authorities said had stabbed his brother during a dispute.
An officer approached Juarez in the 700 block of Nogales Street and used his Taser, according to the Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the shooting. Juarez got up and approached the officer with a knife, and the officer opened fire, sheriff’s officials said.
The stabbing victim was expected to survive.
On Monday, Los Angeles police shot and killed a 29-year-old man suspected of fatally stabbing his mother’s fiancee in a Sylmar home, LAPD Officer Liliana Preciado said. The man brandished a knife when he stepped outside the home and approached police. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Times staff writers Veronica Rocha, Brittny Mejia, Hailey Branson-Potts and Matt Hamilton contributed to this report.
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