Hollywood: On Thursday, September 13, 2001, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Hollywood Area patrol officers Steven DiSabato, 35 years of age, 6 1/2 years with the Department, and Nicholas Lee, 28 years of age, 3 years with the Department, received a radio call of an assault with a deadly weapon and cutting in progress in the 6500 block of La Mirada Avenue. As the officers arrived at the location, they received a second call to the same location regarding Fire Department personnel requesting help.
The officers entered the apartment complex and observed Fire Department personnel rapidly leaving an apartment. Officer DiSabato drew his baton as he and his partner approached the apartment. They observed the suspect, a 27 year old male Black, exit the apartment and begin walking toward them. The suspect was shirtless and his upper body was covered with blood. He had a blank expression on his face and a fixed gaze on Officer Disabato. The officers ordered him to stop and lay down on the complex walkway. He refused to comply, despite numerous commands by the officers.
Officer DiSabato decided to deploy pepper spray and withdrew the canister but inadvertently dropped his baton. Officer DiSabato deployed several bursts of pepper spray into the suspect’s face, with no apparent effect. The officers backed up to create distance between them and the suspect, while they continually ordered him to stop and lay down. The suspect refused to comply, picked up Officer DiSabato’s baton and brandished it as he advanced toward the officers. Officer DiSabato, fearing that the suspect would inflict great bodily injury or death on himself and/or his partner, drew and fired his service weapon at the suspect. The suspect dropped the baton and fell to the floor. The officers ordered the suspect to assume a prone position and place his hands behind his back. The suspect did not comply, rose to his feet, ran to Officer DiSabato and grabbed his service weapon. Officer DiSabato, fearing that the suspect would take his weapon and kill him and his partner, fired multiple rounds. The suspect fell to the floor and was incapacitated. Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics responded and pronounced him dead at the scene. Neither officer was injured during the incident.
A female, purportedly the suspect’s girlfriend, was located in the apartment where the suspect had exited. She was the victim of multiple stab wounds inflicted by the suspect and was transported to a local hospital. She was listed in critical but stable condition. The suspect’s identity has been withheld pending notification of his next of kin.
Detectives from the Critical Incident Investigation Division are conducting the investigation. This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.