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News Release

Monday, February 23, 2004

Media Relations

Domestic Violence Call Results in Fatal Shooting of LAPD Officer

Los Angeles: On Friday, February 20, 2004, at about 12:08 p.m., a female African American placed a 911 call to the Los Angeles Police Department. At 12:32 p.m., Newton Patrol Officers Ricardo Lizarraga and his partner Joel Ruiz, assigned to unit 13A93, received a radio call of a, "Domestic Violence" dispute in 77th Division. At 12:45 p.m., the officers made contact with the reporting female, in the area of Western and Vernon Avenue.

At 12:51 p.m., Watson directed the officers to her residence located at 1743 W. 48th Street. She requested that the officers escort her to her apartment where her boyfriend, Kenrick Johnson, was refusing to leave. They followed her to her residence, where they encountered Kenrick Johnson. As the officers were attempting to search Johnson, he broke away and ran to a nearby bedroom, followed by Officer Lizarraga. Officer Ruiz heard his partner yell from the bedroom that Johnson was armed. Officer Ruiz re-deployed outside the apartment and as officer Lizarraga exited the apartment, Johnson fired six rounds and missed him. The investigation indicates that Officer Lizarraga was shot once in the back while he was on the second floor landing located in front of the apartment. Officer Lizarraga went down the stairs, and when he reached the bottom it appears that the suspect fired at him a second time, striking him on his side. Though wounded, Officer Lizarraga was able to return fire, firing two rounds at Johnson. Officer Ruiz attempted to remove his wounded partner from the line of fire and repositioned himself, firing four rounds at Johnson. Johnson was not struck by the gunfire and ran southbound through a rear alley.

At 12:55 p.m., Officer Ruiz requested Help and at 12:59 p.m., Officers broadcasted that Officer Lizarraga was barely breathing.

Officer Lizarraga was transported to Cedars Sinai Medical Center where he died as a result of his injuries. Officer Ruiz was not injured.

Metropolitan Division SWAT and Canine officers searched the area and located Johnson hiding in an abandoned vehicle in an alley a few blocks away. Johnson is a known gang member and is on parole. Kenrick William Johnson was arrested for 187(A) P.C. Murder.

The suspect fired 8 rounds from a semi-automatic handgun, which has not been located.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Robbery-Homicide Division, at 213-485-2129. On weekends and during off-hours contact the 24-hour toll free number at Detective Information Desk, at 1877-LAWFULL, OR 1-877-525-8601.

This news release was prepared by Public Information Officer Lucy Diaz, Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.

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