Man sentenced for weapons charges in connection with non-hit Pasadena police officer-involved shooting

PASADENA — An 18-year-old Los Angeles man received 1-year jail sentence this week after admitting carrying a concealed handgun and brandishing it at a police officer who was pursuing him in July.
An officer fired a shot at Tyshawn Goodman during the July incident in the 1400 block of Garfield Avenue, Pasadena police officials said at the time. The suspect was not struck by the gunfire, though he was treated for a shoulder injury he suffered while running from police through an apartment complex.
He was originally charged with assault on a peace officer with a firearm and felony possession of a concealed handgun, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said.
At a hearing Monday in Pasadena Superior Court, Goodman pleaded “no contest” to one felony count of possessing a concealed firearm and a misdemeanor count of exhibiting or drawing a firearm, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales said.
He was immediately sentenced to 365 days in jail, along with three years of probation, Davila-Morales said. He was given credit for 230 days of that sentence — 115 days for actual time served, and another 115 days for good behavior.
Officers encountered Goodman about 9:30 p.m. July 13 as they responded to a report of a fight, Pasadena police officials said at the time.
As officers arrived, a witness indicated a man — later identified as Goodman — had just run off and was armed with a handgun, police said.
As an officer chased Goodman through an apartment complex, he raised a handgun, and an officer fired a single shot.
Goodman, who was not struck by the gunfire, dropped his gun and jumped through an apartment window, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said. He was soon apprehended in the area.
No police or officers were injured in the incident, officials said.

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UPDATED: Off-duty La Habra police officer shot with own gun following Castaic car crash

CASTAIC — An off-duty La Habra was shot and wounded with his own gun early Saturday after becoming involved in a fight with another driver on the 5 Freeway in Castaic, authorities said.
The off-duty officer was found along the freeway near Templin Highway with a gunshot wound about 5:15 a.m. , Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Thomas Richards said. The officer was taken to a hospital in unknown condition.
“Detectives have learned that the off-duty La Habra police officer was involved in a traffic collision,” Sgt. Diane Hecht of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement. “Then he and the suspect (driver) became engaged in a physical altercation at which time the suspect shot the officer.”
The suspect used the officer’s own gun in the shooting, Hecht added. “The handgun has not been recovered.”
No description of the shooter or the shooter’s vehicle was released Saturday, the sergeant said.
La Habra police officials deferred comment to the sheriff’s department. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were spearheading the investigation.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
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Family awarded $2 million for fatal deputy-involved shooting of Azusa man in 2009

Efrain GutierrezLOS ANGELES — The family of a 31-year-old Azusa man fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy four years ago won a $2 million judgement this week in a wrongful death suit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Efrain Lara Gutierrez died at the scene of the shooting, which took place about 1 a.m. Oct. 2, 2009 near Renwick Road and Rockvale Avenue in an unincorporated county area just south of Azusa. He lived with his parents, Eva and Dionicio Gutierrez, at a nearby home.
“They feel like they obtained some justice on behalf of their son. It’s very emotional.” said Woodland Hills-based attorney Dale K. Galipo, who is representing the Gutierrez family.
The judgment came only two days before the fourth anniversary of Efrain Gutierrez’s death.
Sheriff’s officials have maintained that the deputy who fatally shot Efrain Gutierrez, identified in court documents as David Salazar of the sheriff’s San Dimas Station, fired his weapon out of fear for his safety. But Woodland Hills-based attorney Dale Galipo, who is representing the Gutierrez family, argued in a federal civil rights lawsuit that Efrain Gutierrez did not pose an immediate threat to the deputies when shot.
Sheriff’s officials said deputies confronted Efrain Gutierrez and tried to detain him and another man on suspicion of breaking into cars in the area.
When cornered, Gutierrez “lunged towards the deputy with a knife in his right hand,” officials from the Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau said the day of the fatal shooting. “Fearing for his safety, the deputy fired several shots at suspect (Gutierrez), striking him.”
But Galipo said four key factors contradicted the sheriff’s version of events.
“We proved the distance was at least 28 feet when the first shots were fired,” the attorney said.
Gutierrez was shot five times, Galipo said. “The shots all had a back-to-front trajectory, with two shots in the back.”
Five shots were fired by the deputy, and all five struck Gutierrez, Galipo added. In addition to the two gunshot wounds to his back, he was shot in the shoulder, neck and side.
A 20-foot blood trail at the shooting scene led from the spot where Gutierrez was first shot toward a gate, Galipo said, indicating he was moving away from the deputy when shot, not toward the deputy as stated by the sheriff’s department.
And in Salazar’s depositions, Galipo said, the deputy testified that he saw an object in Gutierrez’s hand when he opened fire, but could not identify it.
A knife was recovered from the scene of the shooting, investigators said.
Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department strongly disagreed with the jury’s decision.
“We are right now preparing post-trial motions,” he said. “We’re also going to look at all the legal options, and they very well may include an appeal of this decision, which we disagree with entirely.”
“We stand behind our deputies and their actions,” Whitmore said.
Gutierrez, who was armed with a knife and had methamphetamine in his system posed a threat to both deputies and the public, he said.
“They did what they had to do,” Whitmore said. Not only were the deputies endangered by Gutierrez at the time of the shooting, “although this was a tragic result, and it is, they may have saved lives,” Whitmore said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office reviewed the shooting and determined not to file any criminal charges against Salazar.
“We conclude that LASD Deputy David Salazar was placed in reasonable fear of imminent danger of death or great bodily injury by (Gutierrez’s) actions and acted lawfully in self-defense when he used deadly force,” Deputy District Attorney Amy Pellman Pentz wrote in the D.A.’s office findings. “We are therefore closing our file and will take no further action in this matter.”
Galipo acknowledged that Efrain Gutierrez had methamphetamine in his system, but said the amount of the drug found in his system was low.
The four-man, four-woman jury deliberated for a day and a half before unanimously deciding in favor of the Gutierrez family and awarding them $2 million in damages, Galipo said.
Gutierrez, who was unmarried and had no children, was working as a gardener at the time of his death, Galipo said.

PHOTO of Efrain Gutierrez courtesy of the Dale Galipo Law Offices

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Man killed in off-duty officer-involved shooting in South Pasadena identified

SOUTH PASADENA — Coroner’s officials Friday released the name of a Los Angeles man fatally wounded by an off-duty California State University, Los Angeles police officer last weekend after allegedly shooting at the officer, authorities said.
Justo Quintero, 30, died at a hospital shortly after Sunday’s 1 a.m. shooting in the 1000 block of Arroyo Verde Road, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
Los Angeles County homicide detectives released little information regarding the encounter between the two men, citing the ongoing investigation and concerns for the safety of the officer, whose name has not been released, Lt. Holly Francisco of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
She declined to say why the officer was in the area, and said it was unclear why Quintero was there. The men did not know each other before the encounter early Sunday.
There was no argument, however the officer and suspect did exchange words, Francisco said. She declined to discuss the nature of the conversation, but said the officer did not identify himself as an off-duty law enforcement officer during the exchange.
“The suspect ended up pointing a firearm at him,” Francisco said. “The suspect did fire at the officer.”
The officer was not struck by multiple gunshots fired by Quintero, Francisco said. The officer returned fire, striking Quintero several times in the upper body.
Quintero got into a nearby car and began driving away before crashing into a parked car nearby, sheriff’s officials said. He was detained by South Pasadena police and taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena where he died from his wounds.
The officer was treated for abrasions to his face, though it was not clear exactly how he sustained them, Francisco added.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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Officials: Armed suspect fatally shot by off-duty CSULA police officer in South Pasadena

SOUTH PASADENA — An off-duty California State University, Los Angeles police officer shot and killed an armed man who confronted him early Sunday, authorities said.
The wounded suspect, whose name was not available, died at a hospital shortly after the 1:01 a.m. incident in the 1000 block of Arroyo Verde Road, just south of Pasadena Avenue in South Pasadena, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“An off-duty officer employed by the California State University, Los Angeles – Department of Public Safety, was confronted by man with a gun when an officer-involved shooting occurred,” according to the sheriff’s statement.
“The suspect then fled the location in a vehicle before colliding with a parked vehicle a short distance away,” the statement said.
South Pasadena police officers detained the wounded suspect at the scene, officials said.
The wounded suspect, who sheriff’s officials said suffered “gunshot wounds to the upper torso,” was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
The off-duty officer was treated by paramedics for minor injuries, officials said. The nature of the injuries was unclear.
“The suspect’s handgun was recovered at the scene,” the sheriff’s statement said.
South Pasadena police deferred comment to the sheriff’s department.
Further details regarding the circumstances of the fatal officer-involved shooting were not available early Sunday. Officials did not say why the armed suspect confronted the off-duty officer.
Nearby resident Carole Chaingan said she was in her apartment when she heard what sounded like about five gunshots coming from the direction of the street.
She said she heard no further commotion and could not see the shooting scene from her apartment window. She did not go outside.
The Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is assisting South Pasadena police with the investigation. Anyone with information was asked to contact the bureau at 323-890-5500.

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Mother questions fatal deputy-involved shooting in West Whittier

Robert McAfee, 29, Whittier

WEST WHITTIER — A mourning mother is questioning the fatal shooting of her son by a sheriff’s deputy in the backyard of his home last week.
Robert McAfee Jr., 29, of Whittier allegedly pointed a gun at a deputy prior to being shot July 19 in a backyard in the 6800 block of Duchess Drive, in the unincorporated county area of West Whittier, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
But McAfee’s mother, Lydia Provencio of Maryland, said the official account conflicts with information she has received about the shooting from witnesses. And her son had recently told her he was afraid of Pico Rivera sheriff’s deputies.
“I just want the truth out,” the mother said. “I don’t believe my son was an angel. Nevertheless. he was my son. And i just think life should have respect, no matter what, no matter who you are.”
In a written statement issued by the Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau the day of the shooting, a deputy and a sergeant were on patrol when, “they stopped to talk to two known gang members.”
As the deputy and sergeant exited their car, one of the two men — later identified as McAfee — ran to the backyard of a nearby home, according to the sheriff’s statement.
The sergeant followed McAfee into the yard and saw McAfee standing in the backyard and pointing a handgun “in his direction,” prompting the sergeant to open fire, sheriff’s officials said. The name of the involved sergeant was not released.
An autopsy determined McAfee died from a gunshot wound to the chest, coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said. He had also suffered a non-fatal gunshot wound to his hip.
The sheriff’s statement indicated the suspect’s loaded handgun was recovered from the scene.
But Provencio said she understood that the gun was recovered from the backyard of a next door neighbor. She questioned how that was possible if her son had been pointing the gun at the sergeant, as sheriff’s officials described. There was no one else in the backyard, she added.
No one answered the door at the neighboring home Saturday.
The handling homicide detectives could not be reached for comment.
Neighbor Jessica Gutierrez said she was making lunch for her son when she heard what sounded like three gunshots.
She said what she saw next contradicted the scenario given by sheriff’s officials, who stated that the shooting took place within the backyard.
“When I heard the first gunshot, I looked and saw the deputy shooting outside of the backyard, standing in the driveway, and after he shot he ran in the backyard. “
The officers did spend some time in the neighbors backyard, and the detectives also went back there for a period of time.
Gutierrez said she did not know whether a gun was recovered from the neighboring yard.
“(Deputies) did spend some time in the neighbors backyard, and the detectives also went back there for a period of time,” she said.
The two yards are separated by a thick hedge about 8 feet tall.
A memorial of candles sat on McAfee’s front porch of the home of McAfee and his father, Robert McAfee Sr., however no one answered the door Saturday.
Provencio said her son had encountered Pico Rivera-based deputies many times, and the home where he lived with his father was searched by deputies about two weeks before the fatal deputy-involved shooting. The son described the encounters as harassment and told his mother he feared for his safety.
“He called me two-and-a-half to three weeks ago and he said, ‘Mom, they’re out to kill me,’” Provencio said.
She said she asked him what he had been doing to gain the attention of deputies, and he responded that he had been largely staying at home and trying to avoid any trouble.
The mother said she was aware her son, who had served time in jail, was involved with a gang. But she said she couldn’t imagine that he would point a gun at a sheriff’s deputy.
McAfee had been released from jail in February, his mother said.
He had a criminal history dating back to 2004, according to search of Los Angeles County Superior Court records.
He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm in June of 2012. In 2009, he was convicted of drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and being under the influence of drugs.
McAfee was convicted of domestic battery in 2006, and the unlawful taking of a vehicle in 2004, records show. He had convictions for driving on a suspended or revoked license in 2009, 2009 and twice in 2005.
Beyond having doubts about the shooting itself, Provencio said the manner in which family members were treated in the hours after the deputy-involved shooting was “cruel.”
For more than four hours, officials would not tell family members whether McAfee was involved, or whether he was dead.
In addition to his parents, Robert McAfee Jr. is survived by his wife, Edna McAfee; their sons Robert III, 7, and Charles, 5; and two brothers, Provencio said.


PHOTO of Robert McAfee Jr., 29, of Whittier (courtesy)

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Man killed in West Whittier deputy-involved shooting

PASADENA — A man was shot and killed Friday after he allegedly pointed a loaded handgun at a sheriff’s sergeant, authorities said.
Robert McAfee, 29, of Whittier was pronounced dead at the scene of the deputy-involved shooting, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner officials said.
The incident started at 11:42 a.m. in the 6800 block of Duchess Drive which is in the unincorporated county area.
A deputy and a sergeant from the sheriff’s Pico Rivera station were patrolling when they stopped to talk with two known gang members, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Deputy Guillermina Saldana.
As the deputy and sergeant got out of the car, she said one of the men — later identified as McAfee — ran toward a backyard.
“The sergeant followed the suspect into the backyard where he saw the suspect pointing a handgun in his direction and a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” Saldana said.
The man sustained two gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, she said.
Saldana said the suspect’s loaded handgun was recovered at the scene.
The sergeant, whose name was not released, suffered no injuries in the incident, officials said.
The second man was questioned and released, she said.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or text “TIPLA” plus the tip to 274637, or use the website

- Ruby Gonazles and Brian Day

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No one struck in Pasadena officer-involved shooting

PASADENA — Police shot at, but did not hit, an armed man before taking him into custody at an apartment complex late Saturday, authorities said.
The man was taken to a hospital for treatment of an injury to his arm believed to have been sustained while fleeing from police through an apartment complex, but was not wounded by gunfire, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said. His name was not available.
The incident began when officers responded to a report of a “fight in progress” about 9:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of Garfield Avenue, just north of Washington Boulevard, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
“Upon arrival, a pedestrian pointed out a male adult as being armed with a handgun,” the statement said.
“When officers attempted to detain the suspect, he fled on foot into an apartment complex, where an officer involved shooting ultimately occurred.”
One officer fired a weapon in the shooting in the apartment complex at the northwest corner of Garfield Avenue and Grandview Street, officials said. It was not clear how many shots were fired.
Further details of what prompted the officer to open fire were not available.
The man continued fleeing through the apartment complex before being taken into custody, Clawson said. He was being detained at a hospital while he was treated for an injury to his arm apparently suffered while fleeing police, but had not been formally arrested early Sunday.
Officers recovered a firearm from the scene, police said.
No officers or bystanders were injured in the incident, officials added.

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El Monte police silent on dog shooting video

EL MONTE — El Monte police had no comment Saturday regarding the controversial shooting of a police dog in which the department’s version of events appears to contradict video of the incident captured by the residents security camera.
Police have launched an internal investigation into the incident, however the two involved officers remained on-duty, said Valerie Martinez of the city’s hired public relations agency, VMA Communications.
The video captured the arrival of two officers and the shooting of a family’s pet German shepherd which took place Wednesday at a home in the 4700 block of Maxson Road. The officers were there to meet with Cathy Luu and her husband Chi Nguyen to regarding their teenage son, whom they had reported as a runaway over the weekend.
Capt. Dan Buehler said Thursday that the police reports indicated the officers noted the “Beware of Dog” signs on the property and took precautions, such as shaking the gate to make noise, to make sure there were no dogs present in the yard before entering. Only after checking for dogs did the officers enter the yard to knock on the family’s front door.
A pit bull emerged from the back portion of the yard, followed by a German Shepherd which charged toward a female officer standing on the porch, police said. The officer then shot 2-year-old German shepherd once. It ultimately had to be euthanized.
But video footage provided by the family shows the officers walking opening the gate and entering the yard and entering the gate without taking the precautions described by Buehler.
Additionally, the family alleged that the department failed to get prompt medical treatment for the wounded animal, rescinded an offer to pay for medical treatment and treated the rudely in the wake of the incident.
Martinez said it was too early for the department to make any officials comment regarding the shooting, and the apparent discrepancies between the department’s official version of events and the video footage.
“The investigation is still underway,” she said, adding that it remained in its early stage.
Chief Steve Schuster did not return a request for comment, instead referring the request for comment to VMA.
Officials have urged patience, saying the situation is being investigated as an officer-involved shooting.
But since no people were injured, the shooting does not automatically trigger parallel investigations by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office or the County of Los Angeles Office of Independent Review, as is the case in officer-involved shooting in which a person is injured.


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El Monte family outraged over police shooting of pet German shepherd (Video)


EL MONTE — A family expressed outrage Friday after an El Monte police officer shot their pet 2-year-old German shepherd inside their fenced-in front yard while following up on a report of a runaway teenager. The family was forced to put the dog down following the shooting.
In an encounter recorded by a home security camera shortly after 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, two police officers arrived at the home of Cathy Luu, her husband Chi Nguyen and their children in the 4700 block of Maxson Road.
“I’m hurt that they would do this to my pet, but at the same time I’m angry because they act like they don’t even care. They didn’t apologize,” Luu said through a Vietnamese translator.
Police and the family gave conflicting reports of the events leading up to the shooting.
Police said the officers shook the gate and otherwise took care to check if there were dogs present in the yard before opening the gate and entering. But a video captured by the family’s home security camera appears to support Luu’s claim that the officers simply parked their patrol car and entered the yard without checking for dogs, despite two posted “beware of dog” signs, including one mounted to the gate itself.
After being shot, the wounded dog ran to the backyard of the home. It was later euthanized at a veterinary hospital.
The loss of the female German shepherd, named Kiki, devastated the family, Luu said, especially the couple’s 11-year-old son.
“She was his baby,” the mother son. “He cried all night. He still cries.”
In addition to the death of the dog, family members said they were concerned about the safety of an officer firing a gun in a neighborhood crowded with children.
There were four children present at the home when the shooting occurred, and a children’s pool party was taking place in a front yard across the street, according to the family and the video.
“What if my son ran outside behind the dog?” Luu said. “When I think about it, it’s scary.”
El Monte police Capt. Dan Buehler said the officers had an appointment to meet with Luu and Nguyen about 3:30 p.m., but were delayed and ended up arriving about 4:30 p.m.
“They did go up to the front (gate),” the captain said. “There was a beware of dog sign on the gate. They did what we always do as police officers. They shook the gate. They didn’t see any dogs.”
“They looked for any signs of dogs — chew toys, dog mess, what have you,” Buehler said, adding that they entered the yard after not seeing anything indicating a dog was present.
“They walked up to the porch. They rang the doorbell. They knocked on the door. That’s when the first dog came around the house,” he said.
One of the officers is seen on the video petting the pit bull before returning to the gate, which had been left open by the officers, and closing it. The male officer was outside the closed gate when the second officer, a female, was confronted by the German shepherd.
“Then the German shepherd came from behind the house,” Buehler said. “The German shepherd came up. It was much more aggressive than the pit bull. It was growling, it was barking.”
The (female) officer remained on the porch and continued knocking on the front door with her foot as the German shepherd charged toward her, he said.
“As the dog got to about three feet of this officer, this officer had no other choice than to fire a round,” Buehler said.
The dog was struck in the side.
The video, however, depicts the officers walking up to the gate, opening it and entering, seemingly without breaking stride…


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