Los Angeles: An incident in which a suspected drunk driver gunned his car towards Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) motorcycle officers resulted in an officer-involved shooting.
On May 29, 2008, at around 9:45 p.m., LAPD Valley Traffic Division motorcycle officer Frank Bancalari observed the suspected drunk driver in the vicinity of Van Nuys and Laurel Canyon Boulevards. They attempted to stop the suspect, later identified as 27-year-old Julian Barraza, but he failed to comply and continued driving in his 2008 Honda Civic. Consequently, the officers initiated a pursuit through the northeast streets of the LAPD Foothill Division.
During the pursuit, Barraza committed several traffic violations and crashed into a curb, deflating both passenger-side tires. The pursuit was joined by two Foothill Division patrol officers who took the lead in two marked black and white cruisers. At the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Paxton Street, Barraza lost control, spun his car around and came face-to-face with the pursuing officers. The officers then deployed a beanbag shotgun and fired several rounds at the suspect because he refused to comply with commands. Barraza then managed to start his disabled car and drove directly toward Officer Bancalari, resulting in an officer involved shooting. Officer Bancalari has been with the Department for 11 years, 6 months.
Immediately after the shooting, the suspect surrendered to the pursuing officers and was taken into custody without further incident. He was not injured by the gunfire nor were any officers. The suspect, whose bail has been set for $50,000, was charged with assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon.
LAPD Valley Traffic detectives completed the pursuit and collision investigation, and Force Investigation Division personnel are conducting the investigation regarding the officer-involved shooting.