Protests continue over fatal police shooting of 18-year-old in South L.A.

Monique Morgan, the mother of an 18-year-old shot by the LAPD, pleads with police to see her son at the scene of the shooting in South L.A. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)


Los Angeles police fatally shot an 18-year-old man Saturday in South Los Angeles after he bailed out of a vehicle being pursued by officers and ran away on foot.

The fatal shooting of the man, identified by his relatives as Carnell Snell Jr., stirred anger among residents that lingered into the night. Police say Snell was armed with a gun, though residents almost immediately questioned that account.

The events leading up to the shooting began about 1 p.m., when officers spotted a car with paper plates and tried to stop it, thinking the vehicle may have been stolen, Sgt. Barry Montgomery told reporters gathered at 108th Street and Western Avenue.


When the driver of the vehicle failed to stop, officers began a pursuit, Montgomery said.

The vehicle stopped near 106th Street and Western, and two passengers got out of the car and ran in different directions, police said. The officers chased one of them toward the back of a house on 107th Street, Montgomery said, where police shot him.

Trenell Snell, 17, said she was outside with friends when she saw her older brother, CJ, running from police. Trenell Snell started running too, she said. Then she heard gunfire — “boom, boom, boom, boom.”

She hit the ground. When she got up, she said, her brother was on the ground, handcuffed.

“At the end of the day, the cops came and shot my brother,” she said. “Killed my brother.”

Relatives said Snell was killed outside his house.

Police have not said what exactly happened in the moments before the shooting, citing the early stages of the investigation. An LAPD spokesman said a handgun was found at the scene.

Police have not found the driver of the vehicle or the other passenger. They did not give any other information about those individuals.

As news of the shooting spread through the neighborhood, dozens of local activists and other people gathered on the outskirts of the police tape blocking a wide swath of the neighborhood, at one point crashing a police news conference.


“People are fired up and can’t take it anymore,” one woman said to another.

Tia Gonzalez, 36, said she came to the scene because she knew the community was “going to be hurting.” She criticized shootings by police, saying officers should be better trained to avoid killing people.

“A police officer should not be the judge, the jury and the executioner,” she said.

Snell’s mother, Monique Morgan, and other relatives gathered near more police tape on 107th, just down the street from where the 18-year-old was killed. They described Snell as a respectful young man who enjoyed skateboarding and cared deeply for his family.

“This is completely unexpected,” said Tasha Rangel, who has known Snell since he was a boy.

Snell’s mother cried as she begged officers to let her past the tape to see her son’s body.

“Please, can I see my son?” she said. “I want to see my son.”

Officers soon let the family past the police tape to wait at another relative’s home.

Video provided by shows confrontation between community members and police after Los Angeles police shot and killed an armed suspect Saturday in South L.A.

A woman driving down the street stopped her car near the crowd. “They killed him?” she asked through the open car window.


Her shoulders sank.

Later in the day, the crowd lingering outside the police tape grew — and, at times, grew more tense. People shouted profanities at a line of officers wearing riot gear. The crowd later shut down the intersection at 108th and Western, chalking Snell’s name in the road.

“Say his name,” one message said.

Late Saturday, protesters marched outside Mayor Eric Garcetti’s home in Hancock Park. Photos posted by a KCBS reporter Sunday show eggs that had apparently been thrown at the residence. Another protest was planned for Sunday morning.

Times staff writer Marisa Gerber and photographer Barbara Davidson contributed to this report.

Follow me on Twitter: @katemather



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8:10 a.m.: This article has been updated with more information about the Garcetti protest.

Oct. 2, 7:20 a.m. This article has been updated with news about the protest outside Eric Garcetti’s home.

10:32 p.m.: This story has been updated with information about a second passenger who was in the vehicle.

7:50 p.m.: This story has been updated with new information from a reporter at the scene.

5:46 p.m.: This story has been updated with new information from police and witnesses at the scene.

This story was originally published Oct. 1 at 2:27 p.m.