Officer Involved Shooting of Armed Suspect

November 4, 2003

Los Angeles: On Saturday, November 1, 2003, at 3:10 a.m., Rampart Area Patrol Officers responded to a radio call at 4156 Rosewood Avenue regarding a screaming child.
Comments of the call indicated that a male Hispanic suspect, later identified as 29 year-old Albert Merida, was inside apartment 19 and was armed with a knife. When the officers arrived they observed Merida with blood on his arms holding a knife. The officers also saw a woman (later identified as 60 year-old Olga Merida) lying on the bed covered in blood.
The officers ordered Suspect Merida to drop the knife. After several repeated orders Merida finally dropped the knife. Merida was then ordered to exit the room; however he refused multiple requests made by the officers. Merida then attempted to pick up the knife off the floor. He was warned by the officers not to pick up the knife or they would deploy the TASER. Merida ignored the warning, continued to reach for the knife at which time the officers deployed the TASER at Merida. However, the TASER had no effect on Merida.
Merida picked up the knife and charged the officers. The officers (Officers Kimberly Cisco, Serial No. 26519, Thomas Datro, Serial No. 36809, and Luis Contreras, Serial No. 25402) in fear of their lives fired at the suspect. Merida ran out of the room, into the hallway and was taken into custody without further incident.
Los Angeles County Fire Department Paramedics transported Merida to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center where he admitted for multiple gunshot wounds. Olga Merida was pronounced dead at scene.
No officers were injured as a result of this incident.
The investigation is ongoing and is being handled by Critical Incident Investigation Division and Robbery Homicide Division.
This advisory was prepared by Sergeant Catherine Plows, Assistant Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section, (213) 485-3586.