PICO RIVERA >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a 48-year-old man who died after being shot by sheriff’s deputies who responded to reports he was attacking family members with scissors in Pico Rivera on Christmas Eve.
Zhonghua Li, 48, of died in the deputy-involved shooting, which took place shortly after 5 p.m. on Saturday outside a home at Greenglade Avenue and Kells Place, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner records.
Deputies were first summoned to the home in regard to a family disturbance involving a man with mental health issues, Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said. While en route, the call was updated to say the suspect was stabbing family members with a pair of scissors.
Two deputies arrived and confronted Li in the street, Alexander said in a written statement. He began walking toward the deputies with what was ultimately found to be a pair of “threading scissors,” Lt. Steve Jauch of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
A deputy fired a bean bag round at Li, to no effect, and he continued approaching the deputies and refusing to drop the scissors, according to Alexander. Both deputies then fired their pistols, fatally wounding Li.
Li’s sister suffered a stab wound to her hand in the original family disturbance but declined to be taken to a hospital, Jauch said.
PICO RIVERA >> Deputies shot and killed a man in Pico Rivera after he reportedly attacked family members with scissors late Saturday, authorities said.
The deputy-involved shooting took place shortly after 5 p.m. on Greenglade Avenue near Kells Place, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. John Haynes said.
Deputies first responded to a call requesting help with a 50-year-old man suffering from mental health issues, the sergeant said. While en route, a second call reported the man had begun stabbing family members with a pair of scissors.
Two deputies encountered the man in the street, Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“He was holding an object in his right hand,” she said. “He began walking aggressively towards the deputies and refused the commands to stop and drop the object.”
One of the deputies shot the suspect in the torso with a “stun bag,” according to Alexander.
“The suspect continued aggressing towards the deputies, refusing to drop the object. As a result a deputy involved shooting occurred with both deputies firing their duty weapons,” the deputy said.
Paramedics pronounced the wounded man dead at the scene, officials said. HIs identity was not available.
No injuries to deputies were reported.
“A sharp bladed object was recovered near the suspect’s body,” Alexander added.
It was unclear later Saturday whether any of the suspect’s family members had been injured.
“Detectives are beginning interviews with family members who were with the suspect at the time of the 911 call to determine if any victims were stabbed,’ Alexander said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers.
EL MONTE >> Police in El Monte shot and killed a man as he allegedly charged at officers with an SUV late Friday, authorities said.
The incident took place about 9:35 p.m. at Esto Avenue and Fieldcrest Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. Detectives from the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are handling the investigation into the officer-involved shooting.
The identity of the suspect was not released Saturday pending notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Capt. John Kades said.
Prior to the shooting, El Monte tried to pull over a mid-size SUV near Valley Boulevard and Tyler Avenue, suspecting that the driver was intoxicated, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the sheriff’s Information Bureau. The driver refused to stop, starting a pursuit.
The suspect crashed into another motorist during the chase and continued fleeing, she said. The driver of the car struck by the suspect was not hurt.
Police continued chasing the SUV until it came to a stop at the intersection of Esto Avenue and Fieldcrest Street, Schrader said. Officers got out of their cars and approached the suspect.
“The suspect then drove into the cul-de-sac, turned around and drove towards the officers, who were standing outside their vehicles,” Schrader said. “An officer-involved shooting occurred.”
Paramedics pronounced the wounded suspect dead at the scene.
Three officers fired their weapons in the incident, officials said. No officers were injured.
Another El Monte officer collided with a civilian car while responding to the pursuit. The driver of that car was treated for injuries described by officials as minor.
Further details were not available.
Anyone with information was urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Authorities have identified a 60-year-old Hacienda Heights man fatally shot by deputies after allegedly confronting them with a gun outside his home late Thursday.
Robert James Hess died at the scene of the deputy-involved shooting, which took place about 10:50 p.m. in the 15600 block of Windrush Drive, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
He was first approached by police in Downey about 1 p.m. who responded to reports he was armed with a knife and a gun and had threatened to kill family members, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Hess fled from police on a motorcycle and eluded pursuing officers on the 5 Freeway, she said.
Downey police went to Hess’s home in Hacienda Heights and set up a stake-out to wait for the suspect, authorities said. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy were summoned to assist when Hess was spotted walking up the street Thursday night.
Deputies used less-lethal weapons to try, unsuccessfully, to subdue Hess as he reached for a handgun in his pocket, Schrader said. He grabbed the gun and deputies opened fire, mortally wounding him.
No deputies were injured, officials said. A handgun was recovered from the scene.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips also may be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
LA MIRADA >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a 45-year-old La Habra man who was fatally shot by SWAT deputies following a 3-and-a-half-hour standoff at a La Mirada gas station early Tuesday morning.
Mark Daniel Sly died at the scene of the deputy-involved shooting, which took place just before 1 a.m. at the ampm convenience store and ARCO gas station at 13550 S. Beach Blvd., Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operation Ed Winter said.
He fired at deputies at least twice during the standoff, which began with a report of a robbery in progress at the business, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies responding to the robbery encountered Sly, who matched the suspect description, standing at the front door of the convenience store armed with a handgun, Deputy Caroline Rodriguez of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
Sly refused commands to drop his gun and surrender, and deputies summoned a SWAT team and a crisis negotiation team to the scene.
At one point during the hours-long standoff, the suspect fired at deputies through a front window of the business, Rodriguez said.
A deputy returned fire through a window, but it was unclear of Sly was wounded in that exchange.
Sly exited the store with a handgun and again fired on SWAT deputies at 12:55 a.m., officials said. Deputies fired back, fatally wounding Sly.
The investigation remains ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
GLENDORA >> Police shot and wounded a man in Glendora on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
The officer-involved shooting took place about 2:35 p.m. in the 700 block of West Bagnall Street, Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. Detectives from the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are spearheading the investigation.
“The suspect, a male adult, was struck by gunfire and transported to a local hospital for treatment of his non-life-threatening injuries,” Navarro-Suarez said. “No officers were injured.”
Glendora police declined to comment, deferring questions to the sheriff’s department.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting were available.
GLENDORA >> A man fleeing from police in a stolen car rammed a pursuing officer’s vehicle in Glendora late Saturday, prompting an officer-involved shooting, before the suspect was tracked down and arrested, authorities said.
Andrew Joseph Baltierra, 20, who was not wounded by the gunfire but was hospitalized for treatment of K-9 bites sustained during his arrest, was expected to be booked on suspicion of crimes including attempted murder of a police officer, evading police, auto theft, DUI, drug possession, Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said. Baltierra’s city of residence was not clear.
The series of events began about 7:30 p.m., when an automated license plate reader notified Glendora officers that a 2003 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck driving in the area of Grand Avenue and Arrow Highway had been reported stolen, the chief said.
Officers initiated a chase when the driver of the truck — later identified as Baltierra — refused to pull over, officials said.
Two patrol cars chased the truck for less than a mile before the fleeing driver made a “sudden and unexpected U-turn” at Bonita Avenue and Dale Road, police said.
The lead patrol car was following the truck through the U-turn when it collided nearly head-on with the second patrol car, which contained Glendora police K-9 “Bo” and his handler Staab said.
Despite the “substantial” impact, which totalled the police cruiser and caused the air bags in both vehicle to deploy, the pickup truck was still running, the chief said. The officer who was struck by the fleeing pickup truck saw the suspect again gun the engine in his direction.
“The suspect was about to ram the police car again,” Staab said. The officer fired two round from her service pistol, striking the pickup truck but not Baltierra.
The officer whose car was rammed by the suspect was treated for apparently minor injuries, Lamborghini said.
K-9 Bo appeared uninjured in the crash, Staab added.
Baltierra fled into the surrounding residential neighborhood, Lt. Rob Lamborghini said. Officers set up a search perimeter with help from neighboring law enforcement agencies.
The suspect left behind a shoe as he ran, which a Pomona Police Department bloodhound was able to use to obtain his scene and track him to a motor home in the backyard of a home about a block away about three hours later, Staab said.
Baltierra refused commands to surrender, prompting officers to send in another police dog to help apprehend him. The suspect punched and kicked the dog before the animal got the better of him and helped officers take him into custody. The police dog suffered no significant injuries.
Officials took Baltierra to a hospital for treatment of dog bites prior to booking him into jail.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court records, Baltierra was already on probation for a previous criminal conviction prior to Saturday’s incident.
He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years of formal probation after being convicted of auto theft in September of 2015, records show.
He was also convicted of possessing stolen property in May, resulting in a 90-day jail sentence, and of possession of drug paraphernalia in August of 2015, earning him a 49-day jail sentence.
SOUTH PASADENA >> Police shot and wounded a suspect in the middle of a home burglary as two women who lived in the house hid in an upstairs bathroom early Saturday, authorities said.
The incident began about 4:25 a.m. when a 48-year-old woman and her 22-year-old daughter realized there was an intruder in their house in the 1300 block of Huntington Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Upon seeing the suspect, the women fled to the upstairs bathroom where they barricaded themselves from the approaching suspect,” according to the statement. “The suspect attempted to break through the bathroom door in an attempt to gain entry. When his attempts failed, the suspect proceeded to ransack the bottom level of the residence. The mother called 9-1-1.”
Officers rushed to the home and made their way inside, officials said.
“As the officers walked up the stairs towards the second floor, they were confronted by the suspect,” the statement said. “It was at this time that an officer-involved shooting occurred. The suspect then fled from the officers towards a bedroom where he proceeded to barricade himself.”
It was unclear what prompted police to open fire on the suspect, or whether he was armed at the time.
Police cordoned off the home and used a ladder to rescue the women through the window of the bathroom in which they’d been hiding.
A sheriff’s SWAT team responded to deal with the barricaded suspect. Officials from the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau announced the suspect was in custody about 7 a.m.
“While in custody, it was discovered that the suspect had been struck in the shoulder by gunfire,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
The 48-year-old suspect was treated at hospital before being booked on suspicion of burglary. His name was not released Sunday.
South Pasadena police deferred comment to sheriff’s officials, who traditionally investigate officer-involved shootings involving Los Angeles County police agencies.
The residents of the home were unharmed, and no police officials were injured during the incident, sheriff’s officials said.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau
NORWALK >> A man fatally shot himself during a confrontation with sheriff’s deputies in the parking lot of a Target store on Friday morning, authorities said.
The incident unfolded shortly after 9 a.m. when deputies received report of a man pointing a gun at passing cars along the 605 Freeway at Firestone Boulevard, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
Deputies encountered a 24-year-old man attempting to break into cars outside nearby businesses, he said.
The man started walking west through a Target parking lot at 10600 Firestone Blvd. when deputies noticed he was carrying a handgun, officials said. Deputies approached the suspect in an attempt to stop him from crossing Firestone Boulevard.
“As deputies attempted to stop the suspect, he put the gun to his own head as if he was going to shoot himself,” Rouzan said. The man then began walking south the parking lot,
“The deputies tried to detain him, and the suspect continued to point the gun at his head,” he said. “The suspect stopped on the sidewalk in front of a local business and attempted to rack a round into the chamber of the gun.”
Rouzan said deputies ordered the man to drop his gun and tried to prevent him from entering nearby businesses.
“The suspect then turned and pointed the gun at deputy personnel, at which time deputies fired multiple rounds, missing the suspect,” Rouzan said.
“The suspect then ran between two cars in the parking lot, placing the gun to his head, and shot himself,” the deputy said.
Paramedics took the badly wounded man to a hospital, where he was placed on life support, officials said. He ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
Deputies recovered the suspect’s semi-automatic pistol at the scene.
The man’s identity was yet to be released pending positive identification and notification of family.
The motive for the suspect’s behavior remained unclear.
“The reason for the suspect’s actions is unknown at this time,” Rouzan said.
WEST COVINA >> A West Covina police officer wounded in a gunfight with a suspect returned to duty this week after recovering from his injuries.
Officer Kenny Benitez was allegedly shot by 47-year-old Jose Luis Chavez during a May 20 confrontation on Yaleton Avenue, just north of Badillo Street, according to West Covina police and Los Angeles Count sheriff’s officials. Chavez, who was also wounded in the encounter, was captured in nearby Valinda following a six-day manhunt, faces charges of attempted murder of a police officer, assault on a police officer with a semi-automatic firearm and possession of a gun by a convicted felon.
The West Covina Police Department’s briefing room was extra crowded Thursday night as fellow officer and other colleagues attended the briefing to welcome Benitez back to his first shift after three months of recovery, West Covina Police Chief David Faulkner said.
“Ken was severely injured when he was shot in May and his quick recovery is nothing short of miraculous under the circumstances,” the chief said.
“Officer Benitez is a strong young man and was driven to return back to work in support of his fellow officers in the field,” Faulkner said. “We are very proud of Officer Benitez and how he handled this injury. Ken has set a solid example for our personnel for many years to come.”
Benitez has been a police officer for nine years, and had worked with the West Covina Police Department of a little over a year at the time of the shooting.
Benitez approached Chavez as he walked with a woman, pushing a bicycle, when Chavez pulled a handgun and opened fire multiple times, officials said. Benitez was wounded but returned fire.
The alleged shooter, later identified as Chavez, initially escaped the scene but was captured by a sheriff’s SWAT team the following week in the unincorporated county area of Valinda. He was found to have a days-old gunshot wound to his arm.
Chavez has yet to enter a plea to his charges in connection with the shooting of Benitez.
His arraignment hearing has been postponed four times, and his now scheduled to take place Sept. 6 in West Covina Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Chavez is also scheduled to be sentenced for another criminal case on Sept. 6, she said. He pleaded “no contest” in April to possession of drugs for sale, bringing contraband into a jail and possession of a switchblade knife. That case was first filed in December of 2015.
PHOTOS: [ABOVE] West Covina Police Chief David Faulkner, left, welcomed Officer Kenny Benitez back to duty on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, on his first night of patrol following after being wounded in a gunfight with a suspect three months ago. [BELOW] Jose Luis Chavez (Courtesy, West Covina Police Department)