Los Angeles: On March 3, 2011 shortly after 11:00 p.m. 77th Area Officers assigned to a crime suppression detail, were in the process of conducting a pedestrian stop, when the suspect drove up honking his car horn and screaming at the officers. The driver officer backed his car away from the suspect’s car.
The passenger, Police Officer Steve Sainz, six years and thre months with the Department, moved away from the suspect and over to the driver side of the police vehicle with his partner. The suspect who had gotten out of his car, waved a semi-automatic hand gun at the officers and began screaming obscenities at the officers. The suspect put the handgun on the roof of his car then turned toward the officers and began walking toward them continuing to scream obscenities at them.
While this was happening, the passenger officer walked to the back of their police car, armed himself with his police rifle and repositioned himself behind the passenger door. The suspect began walking toward the passenger officer, who, continued to order the suspect to stop. The suspect then reached for his waistband, and the passenger officer fired his weapon striking the suspect several times in the upper torso. The suspect was taken into custody.
The officers immediately requested medical assistance. LAFD personnel responded and pronounced the suspect dead at the scene.
One semi-automatic handgun was recovered at the scene. The investigation is ongoing.
The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy which states that an officer’s use of force actions must be objectively reasonable. Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the officer-involved shooting.