**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 facts and circumstances of the incident may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed**
Los Angeles: Last Saturday, a man fleeing from LAPD Metropolitan Division officers drew a 9mm handgun from his waistband and began turning toward the pursuing officers with the gun in his hand. One of the officers fired his handgun but missed the suspect.
At approximately 3:00 p.m. on January 30, 2016, Metropolitan Division Officers Roberto Gonzalez and his partner were patrolling the area of Melrose Avenue when they saw two men committing a crosswalk violation at Heliotrope Drive. The officers stopped their vehicle to investigate but one of the men, later identified as Anthony Martinez, attempted to flee by running down Heliotrope Drive. Officer Gonzalez ran after him while his partner quickly followed in their police vehicle.
Officer Gonzalez saw Martinez clutching his front waistband while running away and turning the corner on Clinton Street. Martinez then pulled a handgun from his waist and began turning back toward the pursuing officers with the gun in his hand. After seeing that Martinez was armed and turning toward him with the gun, Officer Gonzalez fired his handgun. The rounds, however, missed Martinez and he was uninjured. Martinez then threw the handgun over a nearby fence and was quickly taken into custody. A loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson semiautomatic handgun was found and will be forensically analyzed.
Martinez was later charged by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office with three felony counts: brandishing a firearm, carrying a loaded firearm in public and carrying a concealed weapon.
This is the third incident in 2016 where a suspect used a loaded firearm or replica firearm to threaten an LAPD officer resulting in a use of deadly force. In 2015, there were 19 incidents involving a suspect with a firearm and 6 additional incidents where the suspect used a replica firearm or pellet gun.
LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division (FID) responded to the scene and began interviewing witnesses and collecting forensic evidence. The complete investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Board of Police Commissioners to determine whether the use of deadly force 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 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 www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.”