Los Angeles police officers shot and wounded two men -- one in South L.A., the other in Boyle Heights -- in a roughly 24-hour span this weekend.
The first shooting occurred about 11:45 p.m. Friday, after officers responded to a 911 call in the 1400 block of West 29th Street in the Adams-Normandie neighborhood. LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado said a mentally ill man in his 20s had allegedly assaulted his caregiver, prompting the 911 call and police response.
The officers arrived and found the man holding a steak knife in the street, Preciado said. Investigators were still trying to determine what exactly happened next, Preciado said, but at one point, one of the officers deployed a Taser.
"About a second later," Preciado said, the other officer fired his gun.
The man was taken to a nearby hospital with what Preciado described as a non-life-threatening injury.
Preciado said detectives were reviewing patrol car footage along with cellphone video to determine what happened in the moments leading up to the shooting. A sergeant at the LAPD's Southwest Division said Saturday that the officers had given the man "several commands" to drop the knife.
The second shooting occurred about 24 hours later in Boyle Heights. Officers assigned to the department's newly expanded Metropolitan Division -- an elite unit tasked with driving down the city's uptick in crime -- were working a "crime suppression detail" at the time, Preciado said.
The officers were driving an unmarked car near the 200 block of North Soto Street when they saw a man running across the street, Preciado said. When the officers stopped the man, Preciado said, he allegedly turned and pointed a handgun at them, prompting one of the officers to open fire.
The man, thought to be about 34 years old, was taken to a hospital with a non-life-threatening injury, Preciado said.
Preciado said investigators were still trying to determine why the man had the gun, noting there were no reports of a robbery or assault near where the shooting occurred. Detectives were also examining surveillance footage as part of their investigation, he said.
No officers were hurt in either shooting, Preciado said. Their names will not be released until after the department holds its so-called 72-hour briefings, when top brass are updated on the initial investigations into police shootings.
The investigations into both shootings are ongoing. Each will also be reviewed by the district attorney's office, Police Commission and its independent inspector general.
Including the two men wounded this weekend, Los Angeles police officers have shot 27 people so far this year. Thirteen died.
LAPD officers shot a total of 26 people in 2014 -- but the number has varied in years prior, according to department figures. Officers shot 35 people in 2013, 29 in 2012 and 47 in 2011.
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