Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies opened fire on three men in a trio of incidents on a single day, the first of which involved a heavily armed gunman barricaded in a home next to Interstate 10, snarling traffic for hours in the San Gabriel Valley.
The three men died in the Thursday encounters in San Gabriel, Willowbrook and Inglewood.
The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shootings, which is standard when a deputy is involved. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office also conducts a legal analysis to determine whether the shootings were justified.
The first incident began about 12:30 p.m. when officers with the San Gabriel Police Department responded to a home on the 2000 block of Brighton Street in San Gabriel — less than a block from the San Bernardino Freeway. A woman had called 911 and, according to a sheriff’s statement released Friday, said an armed family member was causing a disturbance.
The suspect saw officers arrive and fired shots at them; at least one officer shot back. The suspect then barricaded himself inside the home, prompting San Gabriel police to call for assistance from the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau, which took command over the scene.
As sheriff’s deputies moved to evacuate neighbors, the suspect opened fire again, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
During the six-hour standoff, the man set the house on fire and threw fireworks at officers, said homicide Det. Lt. Rodney Moore. Heavy smoke billowed out of the home as police surrounded it, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Grace Medrano said.
At one point, armed with a handgun, the man left the home through a back door and unsuccessfully tried to enter a rear structure on the property but failed, the sheriff’s statement said. Authorities said they tried to persuade the man to surrender.
He continued to try to escape — briefly entering a parked vehicle in the backyard, then leaving with at least one handgun before heading back into the home.
Finally, deputies fired tear gas into the home to try to force the gunman to give up; the suspect left the home with a shotgun. At that point, a deputy shot four to five rounds at him, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, though it is not clear if the man died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if the fatal shot came from a deputy’s gun, Moore said.
The showdown snarled traffic on Interstate 10 in San Gabriel for hours at the height of the Thursday evening commute.
The second deputy-involved shooting occurred about 7:30 p.m. when authorities contacted two men sitting in a vehicle parked in an apartment complex near 132nd and San Pedro streets in Willowbrook, an unincorporated community near South Los Angeles.
At some point during the interaction, at least one deputy opened fire and struck one of the men multiple times in the chest, said sheriff’s Deputy Erin Liu. The man, who authorities have not identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.
It is not clear what specifically led to the shooting. The other man in the car was not injured and was taken into custody. His name has not been released.
The third shooting occurred as sheriff’s deputies, on patrol in Inglewood, came into contact with a man in the 3700 block of Imperial Highway, just east of Prairie Avenue, shortly before 10:30 p.m., Liu said. Authorities said the man was armed with a handgun.
At some point during the interaction, at least one deputy opened fire at the man, striking him multiple times in the chest, Liu said.
The specific circumstances leading up to the shooting were not clear.
The man, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital, where he died. No deputies were injured. Authorities retrieved a handgun that they believe belonged to the man, Liu said.