The officers involved in the below incident have been identified as Police Officers II Jose Zavala, Serial No. 40197, and Julio Quintanilla, Serial No. 42454, assigned to Newton 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 Newton Division.
On December 18, 2021, around 7:00 p.m., officers responded to a radio call of a man armed with a knife in the 900 block of East Adams Boulevard. When the officers arrived, they saw the suspect, later identified as 22-year-old Margarito Lopez, armed with a butcher knife. Lopez was ordered to drop the knife; however, he ignored the officer’s commands. An officer fired a 40 Millimeter Less-Lethal Launcher foam projectile at Lopez, which was ineffective. Lopez continued in the direction of the officers, still ignoring the officer’s commands to drop the knife. At that time, a second 40 Millimeter Less-Lethal foam projectile was fired, followed by an Officer-Involved Shooting. Lopez was struck by gunfire and fell to the ground. Los Angeles Fire Department personnel transported Lopez to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The knife Lopez was armed with was recovered at the scene.
No officers were injured during the incident.
LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division responded to the scene and interviewed witnesses, and supervised the collection of evidence by the Forensic Science Division. 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, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who responded to the scene will review the subsequent FID investigation, evidence collected, and witness statements to determine if the force used by the officer was reasonable.