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Update: The officers involved in below incident have been identified as Police Officer II Eduardo Martinez, Serial No. 39980 and Police Officer II David Voci, Serial No. 43117 both assigned to Rampart Area Patrol.
Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Force Investigation Division is investigating an Officer-Involved Shooting (OIS) that occurred in Rampart Division.
On July 26, 2021, around 8:50 p.m., LAPD Rampart Patrol Division officers responded to a radio call of a man holding a knife in the area of Union Avenue and Pico Boulevard. As officers arrived, they saw the suspect, later identified as 43-year-old Samuel Soto, holding a knife. Soto was told to drop the knife, however he refused to comply. Soto charged at one of the officers, resulting in an Officer-Involved Shooting. Soto was struck by gunfire, fell to the ground, and dropped the knife. Soto stood up and chased officers who were at scene. As additional officers arrived at the location, Soto removed a dark object from his pants pocket. An officer gave Soto commands to drop the object. Soto refused and an additional Officer-Involved Shooting occurred. Soto was again struck by gunfire and fell to the ground.
As officers took Soto into custody, Soto resisted and struggled with officers, resulting in another use of force.
Soto was transported by the Los Angeles Fire Department to a local hospital for medical treatment.
The knife Soto was armed with was recovered at scene. The object Soto removed from his pants pocket was determined to be a cell phone and was also recovered at 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. Representatives from the Department of Justice, Office of the California Attorney General (AG) and the Office of the Inspector General responded and monitored the scene investigation. At this time, since Soto has not died as a result of the OIS, the AG will monitor only.
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.