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News Release

Monday, November 22, 1999

Media Relations

Officer Involved Shooting

Monday, November 22, 1999

Officer Involved Shooting

On Saturday November 20, 1999, at approximately 4:26 AM, Foothill Patrol uniformed Officers Karen Thiffault, Serial No. 25232, 38 years of age and 12 years with the Department and Daniel Palma, Serial No. 35169, 22 years of age and 10 months with the Department, received a radio call of a nude man possibly under the influence, covered with blood in the middle of the roadway at San Fernando Road and Van Nuys Boulevard. The officers arrived simultaneously with a Los Angeles Fire Department engine company.

Upon stopping their vehicle the officers observed the naked suspect covered with blood, acting in a bizarre manner. Officer Thiffault, believing the suspect might be under the influence of PCP, verbalized with the suspect in an attempt to calm him. The suspect appeared to fixate on her and immediately charged her while screaming unintelligibly. For her safety, Officer Thiffault began backing up but the suspect was immediately upon her. Thiffault fearing for her safety and in an effort to keep distance between her and the suspect, ran toward the LAFD fire truck at the scene. While running from the suspect, the suspect repeatedly reached for and on at least one occasion grabbed Thiffault's holstered service pistol. Officer Palma pursued the suspect as the suspect continued his assault on Officer Thiffault.

While the suspect was attempting to grab her holstered firearm, Officer Thiffault turned and faced the suspect and stepped off the curb onto the roadway while the suspect was still pursuing her. Believing that the suspect was continuing his efforts to disarm and shoot her, she drew her service pistol. Thiffault continued to step backward away from the advancing suspect who was still yelling unintelligibly. Thiffault in fear that the suspect would disarm her and then shoot her, her partner and the firefighters, fired at the suspect wounding him. The suspect was immediately treated by LAFD personnel and transported to a local hospital where he failed to respond to emergency treatment. Neither officer was injured during this incident. The suspect, described as a male Hispanic in his twenties, has not been identified.

For Release 1:00 am PST
November 22, 1999