"Officer-Involved Shooting Occurred When Suspect Shot at Officers"
Los Angeles – On Thursday, January 11, 2001, at approximately 8:22 P.M., Metropolitan Division Officers Charles Springer, Serial No. 27648, 34 years of age, 11 years with the Department and Jesse Soltero, Serial No. 25763, 40 years of age, 13 years with the Department, were assigned to a crime suppression detail in Newton Area. The officers were in uniform, driving an unmarked police vehicle. Officer Springer was the driver officer.
The officers observed a large crowd of people congregated in a strip mall parking lot, located on the northwest corner of Avalon Boulevard and Vernon Avenue. They drove into the parking lot and observed the suspect conversing with two females. Upon observing the officers, the suspect appeared to hand an object to one of the females. He then rapidly walked away, looking over his shoulder at the officers as he left. Officer Soltero exited the police vehicle and asked to speak with the suspect. The suspect continued walking, rapidly, in a westerly direction out of the parking lot. The suspect then turned south into an adjacent north/south alley. Officer Soltero followed and observed the suspect manipulating his front waist band area. The suspect then ran west on Vernon Avenue and to south on Mettler Street.
Officer Springer drove the police vehicle to Officer Soltero’s location. Officer Soltero informed Officer Springer that he believed that the suspect had a gun. Officer Springer pursued the suspect in his police vehicle as Officer Soltero pursued on foot, to the rear of Officer Springer. As Officer Springer turned south on Mettler Street, he observed the suspect running in a southbound direction on the west sidewalk of Mettler Street. As Officer Springer paralleled the suspect, the suspect stopped, pointed a semi-automatic pistol at Officer Springer and fired at least one round at Officer Springer. Officer Springer, fearing for his safety and that of Officer Soltero, returned gunfire from his police vehicle, at the suspect, using his service pistol. The suspect apparently not impacted by the gunfire, continued running south on Mettler Street for a short distance. The suspect then stopped and again pointed his pistol at Officer Springer. Still in fear for his safety, Officer Springer fired at the suspect. The suspect continued running south on Mettler Street before collapsing on the sidewalk in front of 4437 Mettler Steet. The suspect was taken into custody and his pistol was recovered at the scene.