September 2, 2011
The officer involved in the below listed OIS has been identified as Police Officer II Nuria Vanegas, 3 years and 9 months with the Department.
Los Angeles: On August 25, 2011, around 2:45 in the afternoon, 77th Area Officers, assigned to a plain car, burglary suppression detail were driving eastbound on Florence Avenue at Western Avenue, when they saw a male Black, running, while holding his waistband. The officers followed the suspect to try and discover what the suspect was hiding in his waistband.
When the suspect reached 70th Street and Western Avenue, he turned eastbound on 70th, seemingly unaware that the officers were following him. As they drove down 70th Street, the officers saw a group of two to three male Blacks standing in the middle of the street. The officers slowed their vehicle to get a better view of the group in the street, when suddenly a male, Black, standing in an alley apart from the group in the street, began firing a handgun at the officers who were still in their car.
The officer’s vehicle was struck several times and both officers returned fire. One of the officers was wounded on the right hand and wrist. The suspect dropped his handgun, which at that point was empty, and he ran from the scene. The original suspect and the group in the street also ran. The officers requested help and units responded from all over south bureau. A massive perimeter was established and an extensive search was conducted with negative results.
LAFD personnel responded and transported the officer to a local hospital where he was listed in stable condition. The officer underwent surgery on his right wrist and hand on Friday, August 26, 2011, and is expected to make a full recovery.
Robbery Homicide Division responded and arrested one suspect in connection with this investigation and booked him for Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Police Officer. Detectives are continuing to search for possible additional suspects. Force Investigation Division personnel responded and 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 an officer’s 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 Robbery Homicide Detectives at 213-486-6880. 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). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers 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.