Suspect after Stabbing Victim Lunges at Responding Officer Resulting in an Officer-Involved Shooting NRF010-16jj

February 16, 2016

April 18, 2016 Update: The officer involved in below incident has been identified as Police Officer II Derek Leiphardt, Serial No. 41474.

**The following information is based on a preliminary, ongoing investigation which continues to evolve as investigators interview witnesses, review physical and electronic records, and analyze forensic evidence. The Department’s understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed**

Van Nuys: On Sunday, February 14, 2016, around 1:00 p.m., Van Nuys Patrol officers responded to a radio call of “unknown trouble” with a woman screaming in the background, 6900 block of Kester Avenue. As officers were driving to the call it was upgraded to a possible assault with a deadly weapon suspect with a knife and a woman screaming for help.

Upon the officers arrival they were given a description of the suspect and were told that the suspect stabbed a male and battered two other victims. The officers saw the suspect who matched the description, now on the roof of a motorhome, in front of 6944 Kester Avenue. The officers established dialogue and saw the suspect holding an approximate two inch bladed knife. The suspect placed the knife up to his neck and cut himself. As the suspect started bleeding from his neck the officers continued their dialogue and requests for the suspect to surrender, but he refused.

The suspect climbed into the motorhome through a roof vent and sat in the driver’s seat of the motorhome. The officers believed that the suspect might try to drive away and responded by smashing the driver’s window. An officer deployed the TASER. The TASER had no impact on the suspect and he went into the rear of the motorhome. The officers lost sight of the suspect.

Officers entered the motorhome through a side rear door in an effort to detain the suspect for the stabbing and to render him aid. The suspect would not submit resulting in an officer’s re-deployment of the TASER. Again, the TASER was ineffective. The suspect advanced on the officer and an officer-involved shooting occurred.

The suspect was struck by the gunfire and was taken into custody. Officers requested Los Angeles City Fire Department Paramedics to respond. LAFD paramedics arrived and transported the suspect to Valley Presbyterian Hospital. The suspect failed to respond to life saving efforts and was subsequently pronounced by attending medical staff.

A two inch blade pocket knife was recovered at scene.

The male who was stabbed by the suspect was transported to a local hospital in serious condition, however is expected to survive his injuries. The other victims who were battered by the suspect were treated and released. No officers were injured in the incident.

LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division is conducting a thorough investigation of the officer-involved shooting which will be presented to the Chief of Police and the Board of Police Commissioners to determine whether the use of deadly force and tactics employed by the officers complied with LAPD’s policies and procedures. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office will also review the evidence collected during the investigation to determine whether any criminal laws were violated.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to call the LAPD at any of the following numbers: • During business hours at 213-486-5230; • During non-business hours or on weekends at (877)-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247);  Anonymously 24-hours a day to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or by texting “LAPD” and your tip to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S); or  Online at and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.