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News Release

Friday, January 22, 2016

Media Relations

Officers Confronted by Man Wielding Hunting Knife NRF007-16ma

**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 incident may change as evidence is collected and analyzed.**

North Hills: West Valley Area patrol officers responding to a 9-1-1 call of a man armed with a knife in Mission Area where officers used a TASER and then fired their handguns when the suspect approached them wielding a hunting knife with a 6 ½" blade.

On January 17, 2016 at approximately 5:45 p.m. a resident in Mission area made a 9-1-1 call to LAPD Communications Division to report a man with a large knife across the street from her home. West Valley patrol officers Raul Gonzalez and Adrian Cruz responded to the 8800 block of Norwich Avenue and observed the suspect holding a large hunting knife. The officers exited their patrol car when the suspect approached the officers with the knife in his hand. The officers directed the suspect to stop approaching and to drop the knife. The suspect, however, ignored the officers' commands and quickened his pace toward Officer Cruz on the passenger-side of the patrol car.

Officer Gonzalez, positioned on the driver's side of the patrol car, fired his TASER at the suspect while Officer Cruz simultaneously fired one round from his handgun. The suspect momentarily fell to the ground and let go of the knife and Officer Gonzalez reactivated the TASER and directed the suspect to get down on the ground. The suspect, however, appeared unaffected by the TASER, grabbed the knife and began standing up. The officers continued yelling at the suspect to drop the knife and get down on the ground and Officer Gonzalez again tried using his TASER to incapacitate the suspect. The suspect, however, did not respond to the TASER and continued getting up and holding the blade toward Officer Cruz. Officer Gonzalez then drew his handgun and fired at the suspect who then fell to the ground and was taken into custody.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics treated the suspect, later identified as Efrain Herrera, Jr., and transported him to a local hospital where he later died.

LAPD's specialized Force Investigation Division (FID) responded to the scene and began interviewing witnesses and collecting forensic evidence. The completed investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Board of Police Commissioners to determine whether the use of deadly force fully complied with LAPD's policies and procedures. In addition, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the incident to determine whether any of the officers' actions violated California criminal statutes.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call LAPD's Force Investigation Division 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 Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or send a text starting with the message "LAPD" to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S).


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