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News Release

Thursday, September 4, 2003

Media Relations

Officer Involved Shooting of Narcotics Suspect


Los Angeles: On Wednesday, September 3, 2003, at about 11:00 a.m., Narcotics Division Enforcement Detail, Gang Impact Team plain-clothes officers were involved in a shooting with an armed suspect. Officer Armando Monarrez, 31 years of age, 7 years with the Department, and Officer Marco Taoatao, 29 years of age, 6 years with the Department, were proceeding east in the 19000 block of Bryant Street in an unmarked police vehicle. At this time, the officers observed the suspect on the south side of Bryant Street, whistling and beckoning to the officers. The officers, based on their training and experience, believed the suspect’s actions were consistent with a street level narcotics dealer. The officers decided to investigate and stopped their vehicle on the south side of Bryant Street just west of Vanalden Avenue.

The suspect subsequently proceeded toward the passenger side of the officers’ unmarked police vehicle and stated, "Where you from?" The suspect then lifted his shirt and displayed a chrome .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol that he had concealed in the front waistband area of his trousers. The officers, in an effort to alert each other as to their observations shouted "gun" and exited their vehicle. As the suspect proceeded east on the south sidewalk of Bryant Street, he drew and pointed his pistol at the officers. The officers, in fear for their lives, drew their service pistols and fired at the suspect. The suspect sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was taken into custody.

At 11:08 a.m., Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics responded and pronounced the suspect dead at the scene. The suspect has been identified as 19 year-old Felipe Taximaroa Barajas. Neither officers was injured during the incident.

The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted jointly by Robbery-Homicide Division and Critical Incident Investigation Division.

This press release was prepared by Lieutenant John Pasquariello, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.