Coroner officially releases identity of homeless man killed by LAPD
Coroner’s officials on Thursday released the identity of a homeless man who was shot and killed by Los Angeles police officers Sunday on skid row.
Charly Leundeu Keunang, 43, had been living under a stolen identity belonging to a French man, said Ed Winter, spokesman of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Authorities believed he was a Cameroonian.
FOR THE RECORD
10:48 a.m. March 6: An earlier version of this post misspelled the homeless man’s first name as Charley. It is spelled Charly.
But coroner’s investigators finally obtained his true identity from federal investigators and were able to track down his family, who are living on the East Coast, he said. They positively identified him.
“It was tough … We tracked him though,” Winter said.
He died of multiple gunshot wounds, coroner’s officials said. The coroner’s office ruled his death a homicide. Homicide is the standard coroner’s classification for a death caused by the hand of another.
Keunang had been using the name Charley Saturmin Robinet -- a name he used when he was convicted of a 2000 bank robbery in Thousand Oaks.
Late Tuesday, French officials came forward and said Robinet’s identity was stolen. The true Robinet is a law-abiding citizen who is “alive and well in France,” French officials said.
They said Keunang used Robinet’s identity to acquire a French passport to come to the U.S. in the late 1990s.
His death drew international attention after a video of the fatal shooting was posted on Facebook.
The LAPD has said that the officers made contact with Keunang while they were responding to a 911 call but that he refused to follow their commands and instead tried to fight. Police said the man grabbed a rookie officer’s holstered pistol, prompting three others to open fire.
The shooting has highlighted the difficulties that police face in patrolling skid row, where many inhabitants struggle with mental illness and drug abuse. But it has also reignited anger from those living in the tent encampments and their advocates, who say police tactics are too aggressive.
For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA
Start your day right
Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.