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News Release

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Media Relations

Officer Involved Shooting with Murder Suspect

"Officer Involved Shooting with Murder Suspect"


Los Angeles: On Wednesday, January 15, 2003, at approximately 4:00 PM, Hollenbeck Area officers responded to a radio call of an "Assault With a Deadly Weapon, Shots Fired Investigation" in the 4200 block of Maycrest Avenue. Upon arrival, officers found a male Hispanic 36 years of age lying to the rear of a barbershop dead from multiple gun shot wounds. Witnesses at scene advised officers that the murder suspect, a male Hispanic, 67 years of age, had fled the scene on foot.

Responding Hollenbeck Area Officers Mark Dimitt, 40 years of age, 16 years with the Department and James Lopez, 29 years of age, 7 years with the Department, were searching for the suspect a few blocks from the crime scene. The officers were flagged down by a citizen who advised the officers that the suspect was standing at a bus stop at the intersection of Newtonia Drive and Guardia Avenue. The officers observed the suspect standing at the bus stop with a male Hispanic teenager in close proximity. The officers told the male teenager to leave the scene and then, several times, ordered the suspect to raise his hands. Before the teenager was able to leave the scene, the suspect reached into his waistband and armed himself with a semiautomatic pistol and fired at the officers. The officers, in fear for their lives, returned fire from their service pistols, fatally wounding the suspect.

Unbeknownst to the officers a female teenager was also standing in the vicinity of the bus stop. It appears that during the exchange of gunfire with the suspect, the officers inadvertently wounded the female teenager in the right leg and the male teenager in the right arm. Both teenage victims were transported to a local hospital. The female was treated and released. The male’s injury was more serious and required surgery, however, his injury was not life threatening.

The suspect’s semiautomatic pistol was recovered at scene.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was involved in a dispute with the victim that resulted in gunfire. The motive for the murder is unknown at this time. The identification of both the suspect and victim are pending notification of their next of kin.

The investigation of this incident is ongoing and is being conducted by the Department’s Critical Incident Investigation Division and Robbery Homicide Division.

For further information, contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

This press release was prepared by Sergeant John Pasquariello, LAPD Media Relations Section.