Deputies shot one man dead in East Los Angeles when he wielded a replica .45 handgun and another man as he stood in the line of fire, authorities said on Monday.
The two men were in a vehicle shortly before the Sunday morning shooting. The second man had gotten out of his vehicle and was standing behind the man with the replica gun when he was fatally shot, according to a press release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
On Monday, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office identified the man who was said to be wielding the replica gun as 26-year-old Eduardo Bermundez--the passenger in the vehicle--and the driver as 57-year-old Ricardo Avelar-Lara.
Coroner spokesman Ed Winter said the younger man used an alias with the far more common surname Bermudez--the same as his mother.
The incident began around 2:20 a.m. Sunday when Bermundez and Avelar-Lara drove up alongside a man who was walking in a parking lot and pointed a handgun at him, authorities said. The man followed the suspects in his own car while calling 911 and flagged a sheriff’s patrol car to tell deputies what had happened.
When deputies located the suspects' vehicle and tried to stop it, the vehicle slowed down, Bermundez exited, and Avelar-Lara parked nearby in the driveway of an apartment complex on the 5300 block of Verona Street, the sheriff's statement said.
Bermundez then "started to pull a handgun out of his pants and point it in the direction of the deputies," the statement said. Avelar-Lara gout of of his vehicle "and stood behind" Bermundez, authorities said.
"At that time, a deputy involved shooting occurred," the sheriff's statement said. "Both suspects were struck by gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect's handgun was recovered from the scene and found to be a replica .45 caliber handgun."
The shooting occurred at 2:39 a.m. and the men were pronounced dead about a minute later, the coroner’s office said. No deputies were injured.