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News Release

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Media Relations

LAPD Southeast Officers Involved in an OIS After Attacked While at Radio Call NR11041mg

January 30, 2011         

***UPDATE***

The two officers involved in the officer involved shooting on January 24, 2011, have been identified as Southeast Patrol Division Police Officers Matthew Sikorski and Rodrigo Lopez.  Both officers have been with the Department for four years and two months.

Jan. 25, 2011   

Los Angeles: On January 24, 2011, LAPD officers working patrol in Southeast Area responded to a radio call in the 900 block of East 107th Street in South Los Angeles, regarding a male suffering from mental illness.  As the officer’s were responding, just after 8 p.m., they received additional information that the suspect had refused to take his medication and was verbally aggressive.

When the officers arrived, the suspect, a 48-year old Black male, 5 feet eleven inches tall, approximately 240 pounds ran into his bedroom.  He was verbally aggressive and behaving erratically.  The officers tried to speak with the suspect to calm him down and detain him for medical assistance.  

The suspect’s aggressive behavior caused the officers to believe that he would become violent.  The officers returned to their car to get less than lethal options while waiting for additional units.  The suspect came out of his room and aggressively charged the officers who were in front of the house.  They utilized a bean bag shotgun which knocked him to the ground.  The suspect attempted to get up and continue his attack, causing them to use a TASER, which had no effect.  The suspect continued charging the officers, actually grabbing one of the officers, ripping his badge from his uniform.  During the struggle, which moved to the street, the suspect attempted to take the bean bag shot gun and one of the officer’s firearms.  Both officers, shot the suspect to stop his attack.  They took the suspect into custody and immediately called for medical assistance. 

Personnel from the Los Angeles City Fire Department responded and pronounced the suspect, who was identified as 48-year old Earl Rhodes of South Los Angeles, dead at the scene.

The officers were injured during their violent struggle with Rhodes.  No family members were injured as a result of the incident.

LAPD Force Investigation Division personnel are investigating the officer involved shooting.

The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use of force policy which states that officers’ use of force actions must be objectively reasonable.  Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the Officer Involved Shooting.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Force Investigation Division Detective Robert Solarza at 213-486-5230. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.