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Police kill two men in weekend shootings; first fatal LAPD shootings of 2016

Police kill two men in weekend shootings; first fatal LAPD shootings of 2016
Los Angeles police fatally shot a man armed with a hunting knife in North Hills on Sunday,officials said. (KTLA)

Los Angeles police shot and killed two men in unrelated incidents over the weekend, the first fatal shootings by LAPD officers this year, according to officials.

In one episode, officers shot and killed a man who was carrying a pellet gun in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood, authorities said. In the other, they shot and killed a man armed with a knife in North Hills, police said.

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The first shooting unfolded at about 2:15 p.m. Saturday, when a resident reported a burglary at his home in the 1800 block of Courtney Terrace, police said.

Officers from the LAPD's Hollywood Division responded and set up a perimeter in the area to look for the suspect, LAPD Det. Meghan Aguilar said. About an hour and a half later, she said, a police helicopter spotted "some movement" within that perimeter and the suspect emerged on Nichols Canyon Road.

Two officers stationed nearby to monitor the perimeter were involved in the deadly encounter, Aguilar said.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that the man pointed what appeared to be a blue steel pistol at the officers, prompting them to open fire. Investigators later determined the pistol was in fact a pellet gun, Beck said.

Coroner's officials have identified the man as Alfred Longoria, a 34-year-old West Hollywood resident.

Just over 24 hours later, the second deadly shooting occurred in the city's North Hills neighborhood.

Officers with the LAPD's Mission and West Valley divisions went to the 8800 block of Norwich Avenue about 5:10 p.m. Sunday after someone reported a man with a knife, police said.

When officers arrived, Beck said, the man confronted the officers and approached them with a hunting knife. The officers tried to subdue the man with a Taser, the chief said, but it "wasn't completely effective."

The man continued to approach the officers, who then opened fire, Beck said.

The man's name has not yet been released by coroner's officials, pending notification of his relatives.

Officers from the West Valley Division -- who don't yet have LAPD-issued body cameras -- were involved in the shooting, Aguilar said. But, she said, investigators will check to see if cameras worn by the Mission Division officers who were also at the scene captured the deadly encounter.

No officers were injured in either shooting. Both shootings will be reviewed by the district attorney's office, Police Commission and its inspector general.

On Tuesday, Beck called the shootings "very sad incidents," but emphasized that they were "entirely unrelated." In both, he said, officers were responding to calls for help.

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"When they got there, they encountered violent individuals that would not submit to arrest," he said. "Police officers are forced to react many times to situations that are not of their own making -- that appeared to be the case in these instances."

Los Angeles police officers have shot three people this year, including a man suspected in a monthlong series of crimes who was critically wounded. On-duty officers shot 36 people in 2015; 21 of whom were killed.

Follow @katemather for more LAPD news.

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