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**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 as additional evidence is collected and analyzed**
Los Angeles: Narcotics officers chase armed suspects resulting in and officer involved shooting.
On December 30, 2016, around 4:30 p.m., Southeast Division Narcotic Enforcement Detail, Police Officer II Saipele Tuialli, Serial No. 38343, and his partner were monitoring the area of 95th Street and Central Avenue for narcotic activity. The officers were in plainclothes driving an unmarked police vehicle however, they were wearing their Department tactical vests with the police badge readily visible. As the officers came to a stop at the intersection they observed a vehicle with three occupants stopped in front of them acting in a suspicious manner. The officers requested a vehicle inquiry as they continued to follow the vehicle westbound on 95th Street. The inquiry returned with no wants or warrants at which time the officers saw the vehicle pull to the curb on Clovis Avenue. At that point the officers disengaged their following and continued driving westbound on 95th Street to Wadsworth Avenue.
While the officers drove on Wadsworth they observed the same suspicious vehicle now driving toward them on Wadsworth from 94th Street. The suspect vehicle then stopped and three, males got out of the vehicle. The officers observed two of the suspects holding handguns as they got out of the vehicle and began to advance toward the officers. Officer Tuialli exited his vehicle, at which time the suspects quickly reentered their vehicle and fled in reverse down the street. Officer Tuialli and his partner followed the suspect vehicle as it fled in reverse. The suspects abandoned their vehicle and ran as the car continued in reverse and crashed into a tree at 94th Street and Central Avenue.
The officers requested back up, remained in their car and continued to drive in the direction the suspects were last seen. As they drove eastbound on 93rd Street from Central Avenue, they observed the suspects at the north/south alley, one of the suspects, who was wearing a red sweater (later identified as 27-year-old Eugene Newsome) ran southbound in the alley and was armed with a handgun. Officer Tuialli exited his vehicle, and observed Newsome pointing the handgun toward the officers. At that time, Officer Tuialli fired his police service weapon at Newsome. Newsome fled eastbound through the houses as the officers immediately established a perimeter to contain the fleeing suspect.
Metropolitan Division K-9 personnel responded and conducted a search of the contained perimeter. Newsome was eventually detained and identified by the officers as the individual that pointed the handgun at them. Newsome was taken into custody without further incident. An examination of Newsome revealed that he was not struck when Officer Tuialli fired his weapon. A loaded semi-automatic handgun and loaded revolver were also recovered from within the perimeter.
No officers, suspects or civilians were injured during the incident and two suspects remain outstanding.
There were 40 officer-involved-shootings in 2016. This was the 28th incident in 2016, where a suspect was armed with a firearm or replica firearm resulting in a use of deadly force incident with a Los Angeles Police Officer. In 2015, there were 19 incidents involving a suspect with a firearm and 6 additional incidents where the suspect a replica firearm or pellet gun. 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.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to call the 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 www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.