Officer Involved Shooting of Machete Wielding Suspect

June 6, 2003

Los Angeles: On June 6, 2003, at about 1:18 AM, Police Officer Daniel Chilson, 32 years old and 14 months with the Department, and his partner responded to a radio call, "Kidnap in Progress" at the Bank of America at Opp Street and Avalon Boulevard in Wilmington. Upon arrival, the officers were met by two people who advised them they had seen a woman being attacked by a male Hispanic who had dragged her by the hair into a vehicle. As the officers were obtaining the information from the two citizens, they observed and heard a woman running towards them screaming for help. The woman then pointed towards a pick-up truck and advised the officers that the suspect was the driver.
The officers made a U-turn and followed the pick-up. After a few blocks, the driver of the vehicle parked the truck diagonally at the curb in front of 1153 Gulf Avenue. The suspect got out of the pick-up and ran down the driveway of 1153 Gulf Avenue. Officer Chilson left the police car as his partner continued to drive the vehicle to the corner of L Street and Gulf Avenue for the purpose of establishing a perimeter. In the interim, Officer Chilson, with his weapon drawn, was in the process of clearing the passenger side of the suspect’s vehicle, when he observed the suspect walking down the driveway towards his position. Officer Chilson ordered the suspect to raise his hands. The suspect refused to comply with Chilson’s order and continued to walk towards him. The suspect walked to the front of the pick-up truck towards Officer Chilson, at which time he raised his right hand, which contained a machete, over his head. Officer Chilson ordered the suspect to stop and drop the machete; however, he did not comply and continued to approach Officer Chilson. Officer Chilson began to back up as the suspect continued to advance towards him with the weapon raised above his head. Officer Chilson, in fear for his life, fired one bullet from his 9mm-service pistol at the suspect. It appeared to Chilson that the bullet did not have an impact on the suspect and the suspect continued to advance towards the officer.
Officer Chilson continued to back up and fired three more shots at the suspect. After the third shot, the suspect fell to the ground. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene but were unable to resuscitate the suspect. The suspect, later identified as Mark Steven Navarrette, 41 years of age and a resident of Wilmington, was pronounced dead at the scene. The preliminary investigation revealed that Navarrette was on active parole after serving time for 12021 (a) of the penal code, felon in possession of a firearm.
No officers were injured during this incident. The female involved in the original radio call was later determined to be the suspect’s estranged wife. She received minor injuries during an altercation with the suspect.
The investigation into this incident is on going and is being conducted jointly by Robbery-Homicide Division and Critical Incident Investigation Division.
This press release was prepared by Sergeant John Pasquariello, LAPD Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.