First published in the April 16 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
Investigations are underway after Glendale police officers shot and killed a man on Thursday after he reportedly led them on a brief chase into an Atwater Village neighborhood, collided with a parked vehicle and brandished a firearm at them.
According to the Glendale Police Department, officers in a patrol vehicle had pulled over a vehicle at around 4:45 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at the intersection of Los Feliz and San Fernando roads. The vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz SUV, had previously been reported stolen to the Los Angeles Police Department Wilshire Division, which prompted the traffic stop.
Though the motorist had initially stopped the vehicle, officers said he ultimately sped off, initiating the pursuit.
“They did pull over initially, but as officers came out to do the felony stop, they took off,” Sgt. Christian Hauptmann, a GPD spokesman, said in an interview. “They initially stopped, but shortly thereafter punched it and took off.”
The motorist drove south, quickly crossing into Atwater Village from Glendale and colliding with a number of other motorists’ vehicles along the way. He eventually crashed into a parked vehicle in a residential neighborhood, at the intersection of Tyburn Street and Atwater Avenue, police said.
At that point, Hauptmann said the motorist — a man whom police have not yet publicly identified — stepped out of the SUV and was wielding a handgun. Multiple officers fired multiple shots at him, fatally striking him, he said. The motorist was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, in spite of “lifesaving measures” from the responding officers.
“When he exited the car, the officers immediately saw him with the firearm,” Hauptmann said. “I know at one point, he had it in his hand.”
No officers, pedestrians or other motorists were reported injured from the incident, which unfolded in around two minutes according to Hauptmann. Because of how rapidly the incident developed and concluded, no LAPD officers were directly involved in the pursuit or shooting.
A female passenger in the stolen SUV initially ran from officers but was quickly apprehended. Hauptmann said she was interviewed by detectives and released at the scene. He did not divulge her relationship to the motorist.
Detectives with GPD’s robbery/homicide division are investigating the incident, as are investigators with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which is standard with all law enforcement shootings. The involved police officers were placed on paid leave, which is also standard operating procedure with any killing.
“That’s industry standard across the board,” Hauptmann noted.