Los Angeles: A man was shot and killed by a Los Angeles Police undercover narcotics officer after the man attacked the officer, without warning, on a roof of a Hollywood motel, Wednesday night, February 8, 2006.
"The suspect’s motive is unknown, but we don’t think he realized the two undercover officers were police," said LAPD spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "Given the man was armed and hit one officer over the head, it may be he intended to rob the officers."
The narcotics unit assigned to Hollywood Police Station was conducting a buy-bust operation at the gas station on Sunset Boulevard. Undercover officer Todd Ramsey, 41, was on the roof of the Saint Moritz Motel, 5849 West Sunset Boulevard, with his partner, who was also undercover. They were helping to coordinate the narcotics operation via cell phones with officers on the ground and in the motel.
Michael Hunter, 46, came from behind Officer Ramsey without warning as Ramsey was talking on a cell phone. Hunter hit Ramsey over the head with a gun. Officer Ramsey’s partner saw what happened and tackled Hunter. The officers and Hunter struggled momentarily until Hunter was able to break free. He stepped back and pointed his gun at Ramsey, who fired twice in self defense. Hunter was struck in the chest and arm. He later died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
Officer Ramsey was also treated at the hospital for the injury to his head from being hit with the gun in the initial assault. He was released from the hospital that evening. Officer Ramsey is an 11-year veteran of LAPD.
Investigators found Hunter’s weapon on the roof. It turned out to be a black, polymer, replica pistol.
The police department and the city attorney had already undertaken abatement proceedings against the Saint Moritz Motel due to its long history as a local nuisance. Hunter had been arrested in the area one week ago for being under the influence of a narcotic.
Representatives from the Police Commission’s Inspector General and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office were present at the investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Force Investigation Division at 213-485-4011. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).