November 20, 2018
Update The officer involved in the below incident has been identified as Police Officer II Jaral Yolotsi, Serial No. 41068, of Southeast 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: On Sunday, November 18, 2018, around 5:35 a.m., uniformed officers assigned to Southeast Area responded to a radio call of an ADW shots fired at the 9500 block of Defiance Avenue in Watts. The comments of the radio call indicated that a female was reporting shots inside of the location and then the line was disconnected. Upon the arrival of the officers, an officer observed a male Black, later identified as Dereck Wilson, walk out onto the sidewalk area of the residence. Wilson turned back toward the front of the same house, followed by gunshots. The officers heard the shots however, they did not see where Wilson was standing. The officers requested help through Communications Division. As additional personnel responded northbound on foot, an officer observed muzzle flash and believing that a suspect was shooting at him, the officer returned fire to the area of the muzzle flash which was in front of the residence.
As the officers continued to deploy around the location, they were met by a victim/witness who advised that he was inside of the location during the shooting and managed to escape. He provided additional information to the officers, at which point they deployed as rescue teams. Two female victims were extracted from the residence by the officers and transported by Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) personnel to a local hospital where they were treated for a non-life threatening gunshot wound and were listed in stable condition. Another female victim was located deceased inside of the residence. Wilson was found inside of the residence with a gunshot wound to the head, LAFD Rescue Ambulance transported him to a hospital where was placed on life support. Wilson was later taken off life support and died. An additional male Black victim with gunshot wounds was also extracted and transported by LAFD Rescue Ambulance and was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Force Investigation Division completed a search warrant for the property and recovered a loaded semi-auto handgun from inside of the residence.
Investigative assistance was provided to FID CAT by South Bureau-Homicide.
Family Liaison Unit was at scene and met with the family of the victims.
No officers were injured during the incident.
LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division responded to the scene and began interviewing witnesses and collecting forensic evidence. Representatives from the Office of the Inspector General and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division responded and monitored the investigation.
The LAPD will have further details regarding this incident in its Critical Incident Community Briefing scheduled for public release on January 2, 2019.
The complete investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and 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 the 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(s) violated any criminal laws.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to call the LAPD at any of the following numbers: • During business hours at (213) 486-5230; • During non-business hours or on weekends at (877)-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247); • Anonymously 24-hours a day to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or by texting “LAPD” and your tip to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S); or • Online at www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.”