Chatsworth: On June 5, 2010, at about 9:30 a.m., Topanga Division officers responded to a 9-1-1 call regarding a possible murder suspect seen in the 8800 block of Azul Drive in the City of Chatsworth.
The suspect believed to be Stephen Hill was wanted on a highly publicized murder case in which a sword was used (News Release NR10293bb Man Dies After Being Stabbed with a Sword).
When the officers arrived, they saw the suspect’s vehicle parked in the area and shortly thereafter, saw the suspect identified as Stephen Hill. Hill was armed with a sword and lead officers on a short foot pursuit to a rocky cliff top where he refused to submit to arrest. Los Angeles Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Crisis Negotiation officers were summoned. The negotiator continuously encouraged Hill to peacefully surrender. An eight hour standoff ensued.
During the course of negotiations, Hill repeatedly threatened to kill himself by placing the sword against his body and walked towards the edge of the cliff. At about 5:30 p.m., Metropolitan Division SWAT officers utilized less lethal tasers and a bean bag projectile on Hill. Hill who was seated appeared to move himself forward, falling off the cliff onto the rocks below. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics who were on scene, immediately rendered aid to Hill and transported him to West Hills Hospital where he failed to respond to treatment and was pronounced dead.
Force Investigation Division personnel responded and are investigating the In Custody death.