The officers involved in below incident have been identified as Police Officer II James Matthews, Serial No.38458, and Police Officer II Ben Lopez, Serial No.42722, both assigned to Rampart Area.
**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**
The officers involved in the below incident have been identified as Rampart Patrol Division Police Officer II Benjamin Lopez, Serial No. 42722, and Police Officer II James Matthews, Serial No. 38458.
Rampart: Los Angeles Police Department’s Force Investigation Division is investigating an Officer-Involved-Shooting (OIS) which occurred in Rampart Division.
On April 2, 2021, at approximately 2:57 p.m., Rampart Patrol Division officers responded to a report of a female inside MacArthur Park firing a handgun into the air. A Police Air Unit arrived overhead. The suspect (later identified as Michele Renee Lariccia) pointed the handgun at the Air Unit before continuing to walk through the park. Rampart officers arrived on scene and tracked the suspect, as she walked along the shoreline of the lake. The officers attempted to communicate with the suspect for several minutes, giving her commands to drop the handgun. Despite the commands, the suspect raised the handgun and pointed it at officers, resulting in an Officer-Involved Shooting.
After being struck by gunfire, the suspect dropped her handgun and entered the lake, where she remained for approximately two hours and thirty- five minutes. The suspect eventually exited the lake and was taken into custody.
The suspect was transported by rescue ambulance to a local hospital, where she underwent surgery for gunshot wounds. The suspect is expected to survive and is currently listed in stable condition.
A loaded firearm was recovered at scene.
No officers were injured during this incident.
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 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.
The LAPD will have further details regarding this incident in its Critical Incident Community Briefing video scheduled for public release on May 17, 2021.