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News Release

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Media Relations

LAPD Officer Shoots and Kills Suspect Holding Knife to Elderly Apartment Resident’s Throat NRF022-16jj

**The following information is based on a preliminary, ongoing investigation which continues to evolve as investigators interview witnesses, review physical and electronic records, and analyze forensic evidence. The Department's understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed**

Los Angeles: LAPD Communications Division received multiple 9-1-1 emergency calls at approximately 8:30 p.m. on April 10, 2016 regarding loud screaming inside an apartment in the 200 block of Park Paseo Lane in LAPD's Hollenbeck Area. Multiple Hollenbeck Area patrol officers responded to the scene and learned that a man had smashed several windows and entered an apartment where an elderly resident was heard screaming inside.

Several officers formed a tactical team and entered the apartment. The officers heard screaming coming from behind the closed door of a rear bedroom. After forcing entry into the bedroom, the officers found the suspect holding a knife with a seven inch blade against an elderly man's throat, and using the victim's body to shield himself. The officers repeatedly ordered the suspect to drop the knife but he continued to threaten the victim with the large, chef-style knife. Police Officer Gabriel Blanco subsequently fired one shot from his handgun striking the suspect. The officers were able to quickly evacuate the victim from the apartment.

LAPD officers immediately requested paramedics to render emergency medical aid to the suspect and the victim. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene and the 82-year-old victim was treated for several lacerations he suffered during the violent encounter with the suspect.

The Los Angeles County Coroner later identified the suspect as Arturo Valdez, a 27-year-old resident of Los Angeles, and is currently investigating the precise cause of death and whether the suspect was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

As with all officer-involved shootings, LAPD's specialized Force Investigation Division (FID) personnel responded to the scene to interview the officers, victims, and witnesses. In addition, forensics experts collected physical evidence for testing and laboratory analysis. The results of FID's extensive investigation will be presented to the Chief of Police and the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners to determine whether the use of deadly force and the tactics employed by the officers complied with LAPD's strict policies and procedures. The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office will also review the case to determine whether any criminal laws were violated.

This is the 11th officer-involved shooting in 2016 and the 9th involving a suspect armed with a knife, blunt-force weapon or firearm [include replica and pellet guns].

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to call the LAPD at any of the following numbers:
  • During business hours at (213) 486-5230;
  • During non-business hours or on weekends at (877)-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247);
  • Anonymously 24-hours a day to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or by texting "LAPD" and your tip to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S); or
  • Online at and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.