January 24, 2022
The officer involved in the below incident has been identified as Police Officer II Bryan Morales, Serial No. 42701, Van Nuys 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) in Van Nuys Division.
On October 31, 2021, around 3:25 p.m., LAPD Van Nuys Division officers responded to a radio call of a vandalism suspect. The suspect was reported to be possibly suffering from mental illness and breaking windows and property inside his residence. Upon their arrival, the officers attempted to communicate with the suspect for approximately 40 minutes from outside his residence and convince him to exit. The suspect refused, and after determining no one else was inside the residence, the officers tactically disengaged and cleared the scene.
At around 5:09 p.m., a second radio call was generated when the suspect was observed outside his residence armed with two knives and vandalizing parked vehicles. Van Nuys patrol officers ultimately encountered the suspect on Victory Boulevard west of Matilija Avenue holding a knife in each hand. The officers verbalized with the suspect, who began walking toward them while armed with one of the knives, resulting in an officer-involved shooting and a simultaneous deployment of less-lethal munitions. The suspect was struck by gunfire and collapsed to the pavement. He was determined deceased at scene by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel.
Two knives were recovered at the 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.
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.