Officer-Involved Shooting of Armed Suspect

August 22, 2006

Los Angeles: A man who pointed a gun at police was injured Tuesday during an officer involved shooting in the Exposition Park Area of Los Angeles.

On August 21, 2006, around 5:00 p.m., Southwest Area Gang Enforcement Detail (GED) officers were conducting a gang investigation when they were confronted by a gunman in the 1100 block of Exposition Boulevard.

Officers surrounded the residence and placed themselves along side the building. Officer Anthony Ariaz and his partner were standing to the rear when the gunman (later identified as Benjamin Smith) jumped out of a window holding a handgun. Smith ran through a parking area toward Officer Ariaz. After ordering Smith to drop the handgun, he refused and pointed the handgun at Officer Ariaz.

Officer Ariaz fired resulting in an officer involved shooting. Smith continued running toward an adjacent parking area when he turned and again pointed the handgun at Ariaz, resulting in a second shooting.

Smith was seen climbing over a wall and was discovered seconds later lying face down with the handgun beside him.

Smith was taken into custody and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound to his right kneecap. He was later booked at County USC Medial Center for assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.

Officers recovered a 9mm handgun at the scene.

Police Officer Anthony Ariaz, 35, has been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 11 years.

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Force Investigation Division is handling the investigation. Any questions may be directed to Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.