July 9, 2013
***UPDATED*** The officers involved in the below incident have been identified as follows: Sergeant Paul Rodriguez, Police Officer II Kevin Gaines, Martin Beck, Alvaro Govermale, Manuel Esqueda, Joshua Medina, Victor Cruz, Jonathan Hanania and Albert Nissi.
Los Angeles: LAPD 77th Street Area officers assisting Los Angeles County Probation Department officers were conducting a probation search for a named subject when they encountered a suspect with whom an officer-involved shooting occurred.
About 7:30 p.m. on June 25, 2013, LAPD officers working with county probation officers were looking for a probation subject at a residence in the 2200 block of 117th Street. Upon arrival and after conducting a check of the rear house, they were unable to locate the individual. As their search continued, they were leaving the property and passing by the front residence on the same property when they smelled marijuana fumes emitting from that home.
The officers then made contact with four people in the residence and asked them to step outside, which they did. As they exited, the officers discovered that a parolee resided at the location. The officers entered the residence to clear it, not realizing the parolee was hiding in an attic crawlspace.
As one of the officers inspected the crawlspace, 33-year-old Howard Michael Partee unleashed a barrage of gunfire toward the officers. One LAPD officer was shot in the face during the gunfire. At this point, an officer-involved shooting occurred.
Officers quickly established a perimeter and requested SWAT Team assistance for response to a barricaded suspect. For several hours after SWAT officers arrived, they attempted unsuccessfully to negotiate with Partee and eventually were forced to deploy rounds of teargas and less-lethal munitions. Finally, around 7:30 a.m. the next morning, SWAT officers were able to enter the dwelling. They located Partee in the crawlspace, and Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics pronounced him dead.
The wounded LAPD officer was rushed to a local hospital where he remains in serious but stable condition. A County Probation officer was also treated and released at the scene for a graze wound to his leg.
Force Investigation Division responded to the incident and will conduct a thorough investigation of the officer-involved shooting. Robbery Homicide Division detectives have also responded and are investigating the crimes against the officers.
The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.
Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the officer-involved shooting. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Force Investigation Division at 213-486-5230. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.