Community Update on Officer-Involved Shooting

October 13, 2010

October 7, 2010 Officer-Involved Shooting at the Imperial Courts Housing Development

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department has made available additional information regarding the recent officer-involved shooting at the Imperial Courts Housing Development.

The October 7, 2010 incident began when Southeast Area officers assigned to gang enforcement duties were patrolling the Imperial Courts Housing Development in full uniform and driving a marked police car.  The officers were on the grounds of the housing development near 114th Street and Grape Street when they encountered three known gang members, all of whom were on foot.  After seeing the officers, one of the men (James Davis) changed his direction and moved toward an unidentified female.  The officers stopped to investigate suspected gang activity and suspicious movements displayed by Davis.

Davis pushed the unidentified female toward the officers and began to run away.  The officers chased Davis a short distance.  During the chase, the officers saw Davis appearing to grasp at or about his waistband area.  The officers feared that Davis was armed.  While still trying to get away from the officers, Davis produced a semi-automatic handgun and, extending his arm, pointed it back toward Officer Castaneda’s partner.  Castaneda, fearing for his partner’s life, fired twice and struck Davis once in the back.  Based on preliminary findings by the Los Angeles County Coroner, Davis suffered an injury by handgun to the posterior chest (the back).  There was no exit wound.

Prior to the arrival of the ambulance, one officer approached Davis and recovered a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol from the ground by his side.  The officer secured the gun in his pocket because a crowd was forming.  Later the gun was transferred to the trunk of a police car, and eventually removed by Scientific Investigation Division personnel.

Officer Castaneda has been in one prior officer-involved shooting.  The prior shooting occurred on August 16, 2009, after a suspect pointed a gun at Officer Castaneda. The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners found Officer Castaneda’s August 16, 2009 shooting to be “in policy.”

There are no LAPD investigations more exhaustive or subjected to more review and civilian oversight than an officer-involved shooting.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Board of Police Commissioners maintain access to and oversight responsibilities for all officer-involved shooting investigations.

The October 7, 2010 officer-involved shooting is still under investigation.  Anyone with information about this incident should contact Force Investigation Division at 213-486-5230.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crimestoppers 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, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

A historical perspective of LAPD officer-involved shootings shows that on average (2006-2009) there are about 43 LAPD officer-involved shootings each year.  So far in 2010, there have been 33 LAPD officer-involved shootings.  Of the 33 LAPD officer-involved shootings this year, 22 suspects were armed with firearms.

LAPD Officer-Involved Shootings – 2006 to 2010 (*Year to Date)

Year    Suspect Hit    Suspect Not Hit    Total
2006    26    17    43
2007    33    18    51
2008    31    11    42
2009    27    9    36
*Year to Date 2010    23    10    33

Average 2006-2009    29    14    43