Car Theft Suspect Points Sawed-Off Shotgun at Officer NRF009-16ma

February 11, 2016

*** UPDATE ***

September 6, 2016

Updated: The officers involved in the below incident has been identified as Police Officers II Josue Merida, Serial No. 37596 and Jeremy Wagner, Serial No. 38873.

Car Theft Suspect Points Sawed-Off Shotgun at Hollenbeck Patrol Officer; Officers Shoot the Armed Juvenile Before He Fires a Loaded 20-Gauge Shotgun

**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 may change additional evidence is collected and analyzed**

Los Angeles: On Saturday night, February 6, 2016, at approximately 10:45 pm, LAPD Patrol Officers identified a stolen Honda traveling down Lorena Street in LAPD’s Hollenbeck Area. The officers activated their overhead emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop and the driver of the stolen vehicle pulled into the driveway of a home on 6th Street west of Lorena. The officer’s began approaching the vehicle when the driver’s door opened and the officers saw the suspect point a sawed-off shotgun at one of the approaching officers. Both officers then fired several rounds from their semi-automatic handguns striking the suspect.

The officers immediately called for additional police resources and requested paramedics to respond and provide medical treatment to the suspect. Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics, however, were unable to revive the suspect and he died at the scene.

The suspect was later identified as a 16-year-old male driving a vehicle that had been stolen earlier in the day from a nearby neighborhood. A loaded, 20-gauge shotgun with an illegally modified shortened barrel and altered stock was recovered at the scene.

LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division is conducting a thorough investigation of the officer-involved shooting which will be presented to the Chief of Police and the Board of Police Commissioners to determine whether the use of deadly force and tactics employed by the officers complied with LAPD’s policies and procedures. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office will also review the evidence collected during the investigation to determine whether any criminal laws were violated.

This is the fourth incident in 2016 where a suspect used a loaded 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 six additional incidents where the suspect used a replica firearm or pellet gun.

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact LAPD at any of the following numbers:

During business hours at (213) 486-5230; During non-business hours or on weekends at (877)-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247); Anonymously 24-hours a day to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or by texting “LAPD” and your tip to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S); or Online at and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.”