Suspect Points Semi-Automatic Weapon at Officers, Resulting in Officer-Involved Shooting

December 26, 2000

Tuesday, December 26, 2000

"Suspect Points Semi-Automatic Weapon at Officers, Resulting in Officer-Involved Shooting"

Wilmington – On December 26, 2000, at approximately 2:00 A.M., Harbor Area uniformed officers were in an area north of I Street and Lagoon Avenue, when they observed a stolen vehicle being operated by a male. The officers attempted to stop the vehicle, however, the driver failed to respond to the officers’ directions. The officers continued to follow the suspect in their black and white police vehicle. The suspect then stopped the vehicle, exited and began to run from the officers. As the officers pursued the suspect on foot, the suspect brandished a handgun at the officers. The suspect then ran into a residence on the 800 Block of Lagoon Avenue. The officers secured the location and requested the response of additional units. Recognizing that the suspect was armed and that he had barricaded himself inside the location, officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit were summoned to the scene.

While at the location, SWAT officers attempted to contact the suspect, with negative results. After repeated failed attempts by SWAT officers to contact the suspect, SWAT officers employed the use of gas in an attempt to "flush" the suspect out of the location. After no response from the suspect, SWAT officers made entry into the location, in search of the suspect. The suspect was not located. During the search, officers located a handgun in the area surrounding the residence. While inside the location, officers also observed what appeared to be a live grenade. The LAPD’s Bomb Squad personnel were summoned to the scene. They responded and rendered the device safe.

While inside the location, officers observed evidence leading them to believe that the suspect was involved in additional criminal activities. Detectives from Harbor Operations-Support Division were summoned to, and responded to, the scene. While the detectives were at the location, the suspect, who was hiding in a bedroom, suddenly appeared and pointed a semi-automatic type weapon at the detectives. As the suspect did so, he uttered a threatening comment at a detective. Police Officer Steve Jenkins, Serial No. 26806, 33 years old, 12 years with the Department and Detective Dan Garcia, Serial No. 30427, 37 years old, 71/2 years with the Department were in an adjoining room. As Jenkins left his position and entered the room where the suspect was located, he observed the suspect pointing a weapon at a detective. Jenkins, fearing for his safety and that of his fellow detectives, fired rounds at the suspect from his Department service pistol. The suspect jumped out a glass window and into the rear yard of the location. Officer Jenkins and Detective Garcia exited the door of the location into the rear yard. The suspect, again, pointed the semi-automatic weapon, this time at the Jenkins and Garcia. Both officers, in fear for their lives, fired rounds at the suspect from their Department service pistols. The suspect was transported to Harbor UCLA Medical Center, by paramedics, where he is listed in critical condition.

The suspect’s weapon was recovered at the scene. The suspect was identified as Matthew John McCarthy, male White, 35 years old, from Wilmington. He will be booked for Attempt Murder of a Police Officer. Additional charges will be filed pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation. The stolen vehicle driven by the suspect was a 1987 Toyota Camry.

No officers were injured as a result of this incident. Robbery Homicide Division Detectives are conducting the investigation.

This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section.

For further information regarding this press release, contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3585.

For Release 5:00 pm PST
December 26, 2000