November 3, 2023
The officer involved in the below incident has been identified as Police Officer III Sean Steelmon, Serial No. 40131, assigned to Topanga Division.
**The following information is based on a preliminary and 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**
Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Force Investigation Division is investigating an Officer-Involved Shooting (OIS) that occurred in Topanga Division.
On October 7, 2023, around 12:57 a.m., Topanga Division uniformed officers received a radio call of a male holding a handgun while seated inside a grey pick-up truck in the parking lot of a shopping center located in the 21000 block of Sherman Way. When officers arrived at scene, they located the truck parked in the lot and positioned their police vehicles behind it. Due to the truck’s tinted windows, it was unclear if the vehicle was occupied. The officers approached the truck on the passenger side and observed the suspect, later identified as 44-year-old Oscar Lopez, seated in the driver seat, and a second individual in the front passenger seat.
Both individuals appeared to be intoxicated and did not respond to verbal commands to exit the truck. After opening the passenger side door, an officer saw a handgun in Lopez’ waistband and ordered him multiple times not to reach for the handgun. Moments later, Lopez lowered his right hand toward his waistband and an OIS occurred. Lopez was struck by gunfire. The Los Angeles City Fire Department personnel responded and pronounced Lopez deceased at scene.
The passenger in the truck was removed from the vehicle by officers just prior to the OIS and he was not injured. While at scene, the LAPD’s Family Liaison Section made notifications to Lopez’ next of kin.
A loaded Polymer 80, Model 940 C, 9mm black semi-automatic handgun was recovered from the scene and was booked as evidence. An additional magazine containing four live rounds was also recovered from the scene and was booked as evidence.
No officers or other community members were injured during this incident.
LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division responded to the scene and interviewed witnesses and supervised the collection of evidence by the Forensic Science Division.
The complete investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Board of Police Commissioners, and the Office of the Inspector General to determine the thoroughness and accuracy of the investigation and whether the use of deadly force complied with LAPD’s policies and procedures. Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who responded to the scene will review the subsequent FID investigation, evidence collected, and witness statements to determine if the force used by the officer was reasonable.