A Los Angeles police officer shot and killed a man Saturday in the emergency room of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center after he picked up a metal stool and tried to grab an officer’s gun as officers tried to transport him to jail, police said.
The man — the 20th person shot and killed by on-duty LAPD officers this year — was taken to the emergency room after an altercation with officers earlier in the day, LAPD Lt. John Jenal said.
The events leading up to the deadly encounter began about 8 a.m. in the 1600 block of West 207th Street, where LAPD officials said residents called 911 to report a man throwing bottles at an apartment complex. The residents “tried to resolve it themselves,” Jenal said, but ultimately called police.
Officers responded to the Harbor Gateway neighborhood and tried to talk to the suspect, Jenal said. He then allegedly took a “fighting stance” and attacked the officers, at one point reaching for one officer’s weapon, Jenal said.
The officers used a Taser and a carotid restraint — where pressure is applied to the sides of the neck — to take the man into custody, Jenal said.
Both the man and the officers — who Jenal said were injured during the struggle — were taken to area hospitals for treatment.
The man was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance.
“He was cooperative, he was pleasant,” Jenal said. “No indications of any violence or any backlash.”
The man was ultimately cleared by medical staff to be taken to jail for booking, Jenal said. About 2:30 p.m., when other officers went to remove his handcuffs from the gurney to handcuff him again to transport him, he said, the man “suddenly goes on the attack.”
The man picked up a metal stool and the officers again tried to use a Taser, Jenal said, but the less-lethal device “did not have any impact.” Jenal said the man tried to reach for one officer’s gun, prompting an officer to draw his weapon and fire.
The man was struck once in the torso, Jenal said. Doctors and nurses tried to help him, he said, but the man died at the scene.
On-duty LAPD officers have shot 35 people this year. Twenty, including the man shot Saturday, were killed.
Jenal said the LAPD delayed releasing information about the shooting until the man’s family could be notified of his death. He said relatives had gathered at the hospital Saturday after the initial incident that brought the man there, but left and couldn’t initially be located after the fatal shooting.
Jenal said there were several witnesses to the deadly encounter, which will also be reviewed by the district attorney’s office, Police Commission and its inspector general.
Harbor–UCLA Medical Center, a 570-bed public teaching hospital near Torrance, serves 700,000 residents in the South Bay. It is one of only five Level One trauma centers in Los Angeles County.