March 1, 2012
Update: The Officer involved in the below officer involved shooting have been identified as follows:
Police Officer II, Moses Trejo- Hollenbeck Area Police Officer II, Rodolfo Pardo- Hollenbeck Area Police Officer III, Gustavo Camacho-Hollenbeck Area Police Officer III, Jose Vasquez- Hollenbeck Area Police Officer II, Joshua Arias- Hollywood Vice Police Officer III, Jeanette Flores-Hollenbeck Area Police Officer II, David Manriquez-Hollenbeck Area Police Officer III, Gregory Trejo- Hollenbeck Area Police Officer III, Jerry Fritz- Metropolitan Division Police Officer III, Alan Ramirez- Metropolitan Division Sergeant I, George Magallon- Central Bureau
Los Angeles: A man who stole two cars at gunpoint led police on a lengthy car chase, resulting in an officer-involved shooting. On February 23, 2012, around mid-afternoon, twenty-two year-old Shonchy Thaopraseuth of San Bernardino stole a silver Acura sedan at gunpoint, two blocks from his home. Thaopraseuth drove the victim’s car for a number of hours, until he ended up at a gas station on the corner of Eastern and Valley Boulevard, where the vehicle appeared to have run out of gas. At this point, Thaopraseuth stole a second vehicle, a 4-door blue Saturn sedan, again at gunpoint, from a customer of the gas station. A concerned citizen observed the carjacking, and phoned 9-1-1. As Thaopraseuth fled the area, he was seen by Hollenbeck Area Patrol Officers, who began to follow him. Based upon the information they received from a crime broadcast, the officers believed that Thaopraseuth was armed, extremely dangerous and requested back-up while they followed Thaopraseuth. When they tried to stop the car, Thaopraseuth fled and the officers began pursuing him. The pursuit lasted about an hour. At the end of the pursuit, Thaopraseuth pulled into a gas station at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue. As he pulled into the pumps, he drew his weapon and pointed it at the owner of the gas station. As the officers stopped behind Thaopraseuth, they saw him pointing his gun at the third victim and an officer involved shooting occurred. Multiple officers fired numerous rounds striking Thaopraseuth. Officers approached the car and took Thaopraseuth into custody. Officers immediately requested medical assistance. LAFD Personnel responded and pronounced Thaopraseuth dead at the scene. No bystanders or officers were injured as a result of the incident. A .38 cal handgun was recovered at the scene. The LAPD Force Investigation Division responded to the incident and will conduct a thorough investigation of the officer-involved shooting and all related crimes. The original car-jacking will be investigated by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. 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. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the FID 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). 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.