Officer-Involved-Shooting in Southwest Division NRF013-21rj

March 28, 2021


The officer involved in below incident has been identified as Police Officer Steve Hernandez, Serial No. 34927, assigned to Metropolitan 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 Southwest Division.

On March 16, 2021 around 12:15 p.m., LAPD Southwest Patrol Division officers responded to a radio call of an “Assault with a Deadly Weapon” in the 1000 block of West 21st Street. The officers learned that the suspect, later identified as 36-year-old George Cerda, was armed, believed to be under the influence of narcotics, and had discharged a weapon. After the suspect barricaded himself inside a home, officers from Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) were summoned to the scene to assist. The SWAT personnel established containment, cleared surrounding residents from the area, and initiated their efforts to establish communication with the suspect. After the Crisis Negotiation Team declared an impasse, gas was deployed into the home. As this occurred, the suspect fired, striking one SWAT officer twice. The suspect then exited the residence armed with a shotgun resulting in an Officer-Involved Shooting.

Cerda was struck by gunfire. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded and determined Cerda had died at the scene. The officer struck by gunfire was transported to a local hospital where he is listed in stable condition. A shotgun and pistol were recovered at scene and booked as evidence. No other officers or bystanders were injured during this 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. A representative from the Office of the Inspector General responded to the scene and monitored the investigation.

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.