LAPD Press Release on Officer Cuesta 8/9/98

August 10, 1998

For Release August 9, 1998

On August 9, 1998, Southwest Area CRASH Police Officers Filbert Cuesta, Serial Number 30753, 26 years of age and four years with the Department, and Officer Richard Gabaldon, Serial Number 31356, 27 years of age and three years with the Department, were monitoring a party believed to be attended by known gang members, in the 5300 block Carlin Street in Los Angeles.

The officers were in uniform, and driving a black and white police car. At 12:36 a.m. Pacific Standard Time the officers were waiting for other police units to arrive to approach the loud party when several bullets struck the police car, shattering the rear window. Officer Cuesta was struck in the head by a bullet.

Officer Gabaldon returned cover fire at the assailants while gaining control of the police car, driven by officer Cuesta. Officer Gabaldon broadcast an “officer needs help call.”

Officer Cuesta was transported by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics to a local hospital where he failed to respond to treatment.

A citywide tactical alert was called and an intensive search of the area for suspects and evidence was conducted. Numerous witnesses were transported to Southwest Police Station for questioning. Several possible suspects have been detained and are being questioned by the investigation detectives.

No one has been booked at the time of this press release.

Robbery Homicide Division’s Lieutenant II D. Hartwell and Lieutenant II E. Moen, are conducting the officer-involved-shooting and criminal investigations respectively.

Prepared by: Lieutenant II Alba, Officer-in-Charge, Media Relations Section.

For Release 0100. EDT
August 10, 1998