January 26, 2023
The officer involved in the below incident has been identified as Mission Division Police Officer II Ashley Castillo, Serial No. 44276.
January 23, 2023
Investigators released surveillance video from a nearby residence that depicts Morales pause, turn around, and raise his extended hands holding an object the officers believed to be a firearm.
**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) in Mission Division.
On January 21, 2023 around 3:08 a.m., Mission Division patrol officers were in the area of Hoyt Street and Canterbury Avenue conducting a stolen vehicle investigation. The officers saw two men and a woman walking on Hoyt Street. They exited their police vehicle and attempted to detain them as part of the stolen vehicle investigation. One of the men, later identified as 32-year-old David Morales, ran westbound on Hoyt Street. The officers briefly chased Morales, who turned toward one of the officers and pointed what appeared to be a firearm in their direction; at that time an Officer-Involved Shooting (OIS) occurred when one of the officers fired at Morales. The officers established a perimeter to search for Morales and the additional man, later identified as 42-year-old Ricardo Mercado, and woman, later identified as 26-year-old Kimberly Gonzalez.
Metropolitan Division K9 officers and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) responded to conduct the search of the area. Morales, Mercado, and Gonzalez had separated, but during the course of the search, all were taken into custody. Morales and Gonzalez were transported to local hospitals for medical treatment for minor injuries received from the K9. One officer received medical treatment at scene for abrasions sustained from a fall during the incident.
No firearm was found during a search of the area. A reported stolen vehicle was recovered on Hoyt Street.
Morales was booked for Attempt Murder, 664/187 PC. Mercado and Gonzalez were booked for Resisting Arrest, 148(a)(1) PC.
LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division responded to the scene and are investigating this Officer-Involved Shooting.
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. A representative from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office also responded to the scene.