The officer involved in below incident has been identified as Police Officer III James Brown, Serial No. 31342, assigned to Metropolitan Division.
**The following information is based on a preliminary and 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: Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Force Investigation Division is investigating an Officer-Involved Shooting (OIS) that occurred in the City of Fullerton.
On April 27, 2021 at approximately 1:24 a.m., LAPD Transit Services Division officers were at Washington Blvd and Maple Ave when they heard what appeared to be gunshots. The officers saw a white Jeep Cherokee fleeing the area at a high rate of speed. As the officers followed the vehicle, the officers saw the driver of the Jeep shoot into a white Tesla. The officers broadcast an Officer Needs Help Call with shots fired. Additional units responded along with an Airship. The suspect sped away refusing to stop, resulting in the initiation of a vehicle pursuit.
The pursuit traveled through several Southern California freeways. During the pursuit, California Highway Patrol officers deployed spike strips which flattened three of the Jeep’s tires. The driver of the Jeep continued to flee, and the vehicle came to rest on the 91 Freeway at the Raymond Avenue overpass.
The driver refused to exit the vehicle, resulting in SWAT responding to assist due to the barricade situation. As negotiations were underway, the suspect shot at SWAT personnel, resulting in an Officer-Involved Shooting. The suspect sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was determined to be deceased by Orange County Fire Paramedics.
A pistol was recovered from the suspect’s vehicle and booked into evidence. No officers were injured during the incident. The suspect was identified as 49-year-old Carlos Lopez.
LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division responded to the scene and interviewed witnesses and supervised the collection of evidence by the Forensic Science Division. A representative from the Office of the Inspector General responded and monitored the scene investigation.
The complete investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Board of Police Commissioners, and the Office of the Inspector General to determine the thoroughness and accuracy of the investigation and whether the use of deadly force complied with LAPD’s policies and procedures. Additionally, representatives from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will review the subsequent FID investigation; evidence collected and witness statements to determine if the force used by the officer was reasonable.