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News Release

Sunday, July 7, 2002

Media Relations

Suspect Fatally Wounded After he Grabs Officer's Gun

"Suspect Fatally Wounded After he Grabs Officer’s Gun"


Los Angeles - - During the evening hours of July 6, 2002, a male suspect was fatally wounded by Los Angeles Police officers, after the suspect grabbed the gun belonging to one of the officers. On July 6, 2002 at approximately 7:30 p.m., Los Angeles Police Officer Matthew Jacobik (36 years old, 7 years with the Department) and his partner were eastbound 79th Street approaching Broadway Avenue. The officers, assigned to 77th Street Community Police Station, were in a marked black and white police vehicle, when they encountered a male suspect to conduct a narcotics investigation. Officer Jacobik was the driver officer. As the passenger officer was about to exit the police vehicle, the suspect quickly advanced on the officer in an aggressive manner. The suspect then began punching the officer, knocking the officer to the ground. During this time, Officer Jacobik exited the vehicle and, approaching from the rear, observed the suspect and his partner in an altercation, with the officer trying to wrestle his gun away from the suspect. Officer Jacobik became fearful for his partner’s, and his own, safety and fired rounds at the suspect from his Department issued service pistol.

The suspect, apparently not affected, jumped into the police vehicle and sped away from the location, eastbound on 79th Street. The officers put out a broadcast for help, and also advised of the suspect’s direction of travel.

At some point, responding units observed the suspect in the police vehicle, northbound on the 110 freeway approaching Exposition Boulevard. The vehicle, with the suspect, was stopped in the number 5 lane on the freeway. The suspect exited the vehicle and continued behaving in a belligerent and aggressive manner. The suspect failed to comply and respond to the repeated commands of officers. With a supervisor on scene directing the incident, officers employed the use of less than lethal munitions (i.e., beanbag rounds) to gain control of the suspect. This had no apparent affect on the suspect, who continued to act in an aggressive manner toward the officers. The taser gun was then employed, resulting in the suspect being brought to the ground. At the direction of the supervisor, the officers formed an arrest team and grabbed the suspect in an attempt to control him. The suspect then began fighting with the officers. During the altercation, Officers Carter Fenstemacher (29 years old, 6 years with the Department, currently assigned to Newton Community Police Station) and Charles Wunder (37 years old, 7 ½ years with the Department, currently assigned to Newton Community Police Station) both heard a fellow officer yell that the suspect had the officer’s gun.

Officer Fenstemacher looked and observed the suspect’s hand on the officer’s gun and the suspect violently pulling at the officer’s gun.

Officers Fenstemacher and Wunder became fearful for their safety and that of their partner officers and an officer involved shooting occurred when the officers fired rounds at the suspect, using their Department issued pistols.

The suspect died at the scene. Another officer received a gunshot wound to his wrist. That officer was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery. His prognosis for recovery is good. The first officer, who was attacked by the suspect on 79th Street, received an injury to his hand. He was treated at a local hospital and released.

At this time, the identity of the suspect is unknown. It is also unknown, at this time, if the suspect was struck by gunfire during the officer involved shooting on 79th Street.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing and is being conducted by detectives assigned to Robbery Homicide Division and Critical Incident Investigation Division.

This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3585.