**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**
San Pedro: An off-duty Los Angeles Police officer was involved in an officer involved shooting early Saturday morning, after he witnessed a drive-by shooting and was then fired upon as he followed the suspects.
On Saturday, February 20, 2016, around 2:15 a.m., an off-duty LAPD officer was driving in his personal vehicle on Gaffey Street near 12th Street, when he witnessed a drive-by shooting. The officer, who is assigned to Central Area, and his passenger called 911 as they followed the suspect’s vehicle.
The officer provided a description of the suspect’s vehicle, a dark-colored SUV, possible Ford Explorer, as it continued northbound on Gaffey Street to Cabrillo Avenue. As the suspects turned westbound onto Santa Cruz Street the vehicle suddenly stopped. The suspect pointed a gun towards the off-duty officer, through the open driver’s window. The suspect fired several rounds at the officer and the officer returned fire.
The suspect’s vehicle sped away westbound on Santa Cruz Street. The officer remained at the scene of the officer involved shooting. It was unknown if the suspects or their vehicle were struck by the gunfire. The officer and his passenger were not injured, but the officer’s vehicle was struck by gunfire.
The victim of the initial drive-by shooting died at scene. Harbor Area detectives responded and are investigating the homicide. The victim’s name has not been released due to the rapidly evolving homicide investigation.
Force Investigation Division detectives responded and recovered numerous shell casings from the officer involved shooting scene in proximity to where the suspect shot at the officer. The detectives are investigating the officer involved shooting and the crimes against the officer and his passenger. The suspects and their vehicle are outstanding.
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 officer 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.