Officer Involved Shooting with Armed Suspect

February 2, 2003

"Officer Involved Shooting with Armed Suspect"

Los Angeles – On Saturday, February 1, 2003, at approximately 8:30 p.m., Southeast Area Gang Suppression Officers Benjamin Perez, 36 years of age, 6 years with the Department and Brett Clark, 34 years of age, 5 years with the Department, were driving their black and white police vehicle south on Figueroa Street approaching 118th Street when they observed three males standing on the walkway between two apartment complexes. The location is a known hangout for members of a local Black street gang.
The officers decided to stop and conduct a consensual contact with the three male Blacks for intelligence purposes. Officer Clark diagonally parked at the curb in front of the three males. As Officer Perez exited the passenger’s door of his vehicle and stepped onto the parkway he noticed a group of approximately three adult Hispanics standing in front of an apartment several feet south of his location. At which time, one of the adult male Hispanics moved from the group and started walking rapidly northbound on the sidewalk in Officer Perez’ direction. The suspect then walked northbound in the curb lane of Figueroa Street passing the police vehicle. Because the suspect’s actions became suspicious, Officer Perez turned to observe the suspect.
Perez and Clark noticed the suspect started holding his hands in his front waistband area and began to run. The officers started to follow behind the suspect and ordered the suspect to stop. The suspect instead removed a handgun from his waistband area with his left hand and pointed it at the officers as he ran. Both officers drew their service pistols and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon. The suspect did not comply and continued to point the handgun at the officers as he ran north in the street. When the suspect reached the corner of Figueroa Street and 118th Street and still pointing the weapon at the officers, Officers Perez and Clark, in fear for their lives, fired at the suspect. The suspect then ran west down 118th Street and then south in the alley from 118th Street west of Figueroa Street.
The officers broadcast an "Officer Needs Help" and pursued the suspect through the alley and observed him run out of their sight east between apartment buildings. The officers immediately established a perimeter with responding units. The suspect was subsequently taken into custody in the area by other officers.
The suspect sustained a gunshot wound to his chest area. He was treated at Harbor General Hospital and listed in critical condition. The suspect, described as a male Hispanic 18 to 24 years of age, had not been identified at this time.
The suspect’s semi-automatic pistol was recovered on the ground in the west side intersection of Figueroa Street and 118th Street.
No officer was injured as a result of this incident.
The investigation of this incident is ongoing and is being conducted by the Department’s Critical Incident Investigation Division and Robbery Homicide Division.
For further information, contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.
This press release was prepared by Sergeant John Pasquariello, LAPD Media Relations Section.