Los Angeles: On Sunday, January 18, 2004, at approximately 1:40 p.m., Police Officers Clement Toscano, nine years with the Department and Mark Miraglia, one year with the Department, assigned to Unit 5A1, were in a black and white police vehicle on patrol in the area of Lomita Boulevard and Western Avenue. The officers entered an alley and observed three male Hispanics, later identified as Richard Sao, along with two others, standing in the alley behind the apartment complex of 1674 Lomita Boulevard.
As the officers’ police vehicle came parallel with Sao, Officer Toscano observed a handgun protruding out of Sao’s front right pant pocket. When the officers exited the police vehicle, Sao ran northbound through a wooden gate at the rear of the apartment complex. The officers pursued Sao on foot. As the officers attempted to detain Sao, he became combative and resistant. During the struggle, Sao pulled away from the officers’ grasp and Sao’s momentum caused him to break the glass windows. Sao’s momentum also caused both officers to be pulled into the broken window, causing lacerations to the officers’ hands and arms. Sao then reached into his pocket and pointed his gun through the pants at the officers. Officer Toscano, in immediate defense of his life and the life of Officer Miraglia, drew his 9mm service pistol and fired striking Sao in the upper body and arm. Sao was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers Toscano and Miraglia were treated at local hospitals for their lacerations and released. The two males who were standing with Sao, were questioned and released.
This news release was prepared by public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.