Officer-Involved Shooting Occurs After Suspect Points Gun at Officers

March 25, 2002

" Officer-Involved Shooting Occurs After Suspect Points Gun at Officers"
Los Angeles – – An officer-involved shooting occurred in the area of York Boulevard and Avenue 52, after a suspect pointed a chrome revolver at Los Angeles Police officers.
On Saturday, March 23, 2002, at approximately 6:50 p.m., three uniformed officers assigned to Northeast Community Police Station [Gang Detail] were on patrol in a marked black and white police vehicle in the area of York Boulevard and Avenue 56. The officers observed a White Honda Accord with three male Hispanics, stopped in the area. The driver of the Accord, apparently observing the officers, exited the Accord and ran. The right front passenger of the Accord slid over to the driver seat and sped away, westbound York Boulevard. Because of the suspicious nature of the suspects’ actions, the officers followed the suspects. As the vehicle, occupied by the two suspects, neared Avenue 52, the suspect apparently lost control, causing the vehicle to drive on to the sidewalk on the south side of York Boulevard, before colliding with a fixed post and a parked vehicle.
Both suspects exited the vehicle. The passenger in the vehicle surrendered without incident. The driver exited the vehicle, turned and pointed a chrome revolver at the officers, resulting in the officers becoming fearful for their lives. Officer Carlos Langarica (29 years old, six years with the Department) and Officer Arthur Castro (29 years old, five years with the Department), using their Department-approved service pistols, fired rounds at the suspect. The suspect turned and ran briefly across a nearby parking lot, in a southwesterly direction, before collapsing. The suspect died at the scene as a result of a gunshot wound to the torso.
No officers or innocent bystanders were injured as a result of this incident. The suspect’s weapon was recovered at the scene. The suspect has been identified as Joshua Villanueva, a 26 year-old resident of Los Angeles. The initial driver of the vehicle remains outstanding.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing and is being conducted by the Department’s Critical Incident Investigation Division. Investigators assigned to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office are conducting a concurrent investigation.
This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.