Officer-Involved Shooting in Rampart Division NRF042-21ma

June 29, 2021
February 9, 2024 
Officer-Involved Shooting in Rampart Division, July 26, 2021
California Department of Justice Report Findings and Recommendations

Pursuant to Assembly Bill 1506 (AB 1506), The California Attorney General today released a report on Samuel Soto’s death from an officer involved shooting in Los Angeles, California, on July 26, 2021, involving the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The report is part of the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ongoing efforts to provide transparency and accountability in law enforcement practices. The report provides a detailed analysis of the incident and outlines DOJ’s findings. After a thorough investigation, DOJ concluded that criminal charges were not appropriate in this case. However, DOJ recognizes the important lessons to be learned from this incident. As required by AB 1506, the Attorney General has issued specific policy and practice recommendations related to the incident.


As part of its investigation, DOJ has identified several policy recommendations that it believes will help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.


These recommendations include:


1. Use and care of Electronic Control Devices (TASER): LAPD should evaluate whether the responding officers properly followed policies, processes, and procedures, and had taken the appropriate trainings related to TASERs, at the time of this incident. Moreover, given that all but one officer lacked fully charged or functioning TASERs, LAPD should further ensure no systemic issues exist with respect to the availability of fully charged and functional TASERs. Finally, LAPD should ensure its officers are in full compliance with LAPD’s new TASER policy. DOJ believes these policy recommendations will help improve public safety while promoting trust and accountability in our justice system.


2. Communication and MEU Response: LAPD should consider working with LAFD on improving Dispatch communication, which could include evaluating changes to training and policy on calls that intersect both agencies.




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.

**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 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.