Officer Involved Shooting of Armed Suspect

November 4, 2003


Los Angeles: On Saturday, November 1, 2003, at 8:30 p.m., Wilshire Area plainclothes Shadow Detail Police Officers Akash Udeshi and Enrique Vaca, were driving east on James Wood Boulevard at Oxford Avenue. The officers observed a known gang member writing graffiti on the south wall of the apartment building located at 854 S. Oxford Avenue. The officers negotiated a U-turn to question the suspect; however, the suspect entered the apartment building. The officers conducted a surveillance of the building in the event the suspect came back out.
At approximately 9:05 a.m., the officers observed two male Hispanics, Arturo Lopez, 24 years of age, and Jaime Morales, 19 years of age, walking south on Oxford Avenue toward the officers. When Lopez neared Officers Vaca and Udeshi’s location, Lopez asked the officers "where they were from." The officers did not respond. Lopez again asked the question and Officer Vaca responded, "No where." In response Lopez lifted his shirt exposing the butt of a handgun in his front waistband. Officers Vaca and Udeshi exited their vehicle, identified themselves as police officers and ordered the suspect to raise his hands. Lopez failed to comply, drew the handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the officers. Officers Vaca and Udeshi, fearing Lopez was about to shoot them, fired at Lopez. Lopez ran into the apartment building, accompanied by a third male Hispanic, Edwin Marcial, 18 years of age. Morales ran south on Oxford Avenue.
Moments later, Lopez exited the apartment building and surrendered to responding uniformed officers. Lopez was taken into custody without incident. Marcial was taken into custody after a brief struggle and Morales was taken into custody two blocks south of the location without incident. A loaded .32 caliber semiautomatic pistol was recovered at scene.
Los Angeles City Fire Department paramedics responded and treated Lopez for multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and legs. Lopez was absentee booked at Cedars Sinai Medical Center for Assault with a Deadly Weapon and is listed in stable condition. Marcial was treated for a minor injury to his mouth at a local hospital and released. No officers were injured as a result of this incident.
Marcial and Morales were interviewed by Robbery-Homicide Division detectives at Wilshire Community Police Station and subsequently released.
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.