Downtown Los Angeles header image
Los Angeles Police Department Memorial Badge


News Release

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Media Relations

Officer Involved Shooting of Knife Wielding Suspect


Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred in the 7300 block of South Broadway.

On Wednesday, March 26, 2003, at approximately 11:45 AM, Police Officer Gustavo Martinez, 35 years of age, eight ½ years with the Department, and his partner, assigned to 77th Street Detectives, in full uniform, were in front of 77th Street Community Police Station, when a citizen told them a male Hispanic, armed with a knife and hammer had just attempted to burglarize a vehicle parked in front of the station. The witness advised officers that the suspect was last seen walking northbound on Broadway from 76th Street.

Officer Martinez and his partner proceeded in their hybrid black and white police car northbound on Broadway and observed the suspect walking northbound on the east sidewalk of Broadway from 74th Street. The officers observed that the suspect held a knife in his right hand and a hammer in his left hand. Officer Martinez parked the police car several feet south of the suspect, and both he and his partner exited the vehicle and drew their service pistols. The suspect ran northbound on the east sidewalk, as Officer Martinez requested a backup unit.

Officer Martinez and his partner followed the suspect on foot as he ran into the curb lane of Broadway. The officers, with their service pistols drawn, deployed near the curb east of Broadway and ordered the suspect, several times, in English and Spanish, to drop the knife and hammer, but the suspect did not comply. The suspect raised the knife above his right shoulder with the blade pointing towards Officer Martinez and his partner, while still holding the hammer in his left hand. The suspect growled and stepped towards Officer Martinez. Officer Martinez, in fear for his life, fired two rounds striking the suspect.

A rescue ambulance responded and transported the suspect to Martin Luther King Hospital, where he was admitted and treated for his gunshot wounds. The suspect was later identified as 31 year old, Oscar Salvador Gonzalez. Gonzalez was eventually booked for 245 (c) of the penal code, Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Police Officer.

No officers were injured during this incident.

The investigation into this shooting is ongoing and is being conducted by Critical Incident Investigation and Robbery Homicide Divisions.

This press release was prepared by Sergeant John Pasquariello, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.