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Sep 2022
Colorado Police Officer Shot, Killed During Domestic Disturbance Response

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Law Enforcement News

Colorado Police Officer Shot, Killed During Domestic Disturbance Response
An Arvada police officer was killed early Sunday morning during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect as the officer tried to break up a family disturbance, Arvada police Chief Link Strate said Sunday. The officer who died was Dillon Michael Vakoff, 27, Strate said during a morning news conference. Vakoff and another officer responded to a call for a “large family disturbance” in the 6700 block of W. 51st Avenue at 1:41 a.m., Strate said. When the two officers arrived, they found a “chaotic scene,” with multiple people in the street, he said. The officers were attempting to separate “belligerent and uncooperative” people in the street when the suspect began shooting. The suspect shot a woman, at which point the two officers returned fire. Vakoff was then shot by the suspect, Strate said. He cautioned that the investigation is in the early stages and information is preliminary. The second officer tried to help Vakoff, who was taken to a hospital where he died. The suspect was also shot and hospitalized. Both the woman who was wounded and the suspect are expected to survive, Strate said. The suspect was still hospitalized and in police custody Sunday, he said. The suspect has not been publicly identified.
The Denver Post

Man Shot Dead In South LA While Trying To Flee From Vehicle
One of three suspects who approached a man in a parked vehicle in South Los Angeles shot him to death when he tried to flee on foot, authorities said Sunday. The shooting occurred at 9:45 p.m. Saturday in the 6900 block of South Broadway, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Division reported. The victim was in a parked vehicle when he was approached by three suspects, one of whom was armed with a handgun, police said. He tried to flee the scene on foot and was fatally shot. The LAPD’s Newton station urged anyone with information regarding the homicide to call them at 323-846-6547 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

2 Arrested In California After ‘Cache Of Illegal Material' To Manufacture Ghost Guns Recovered, Police Say
Two men were arrested and a "substantial cache of illegal material" to manufacture ghost guns was recovered in Southern California on Thursday, police said. About 200 ghost gun frames, handgun slides, two assault weapons, a rifle, firearms magazines, ammunition and numerous parts and tools for manufacturing ghost guns were recovered as a result of an investigation by the Regional Illegal Firearms Trafficking Team (RIFTT), according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Ghost guns, which are untraceable, self-assembled firearms, are often put together with parts sold online, and in April were the subject of new regulations announced by the Biden administration. Under new regulations, anyone purchasing a kit must undergo a background check, and those selling kits are required to include a serial number on the components that make up the weapon, so the eventual firearm can be traced. The RIFTT, which is comprised of the LAPD's Gang and Narcotics Division (GND), Homeland Security Investigations and the Los Angeles Airport Police, served two search warrants Thursday morning at addresses in San Pedro and in Gardena, according to police. "The search warrant was the result of an investigation by RIFTT where a foreign national had attempted to illegally export 11 ghost guns," the LAPD said.

LAFD, LAPD And Southern California Residents Remember Lives Lost On 9/11 21 Years Ago
From Elysian Park to Corona, law enforcement, first responders, and regular citizens spent a moment to remember the thousand of lives lost during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. CBSLA's Tena Ezzeddine reports from Corona.
Yahoo! News Video

California Congresswoman Says Home Was Broken Into, Two Items Stolen
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said her home was broken into on Friday night. “Last night, I came home and discovered that my house had been broken into and burglarized,” the congresswoman, who is also running for mayor of Los Angeles, said in a statement on Saturday. The burglars appear to have stolen two firearms, which the Los Angeles mayoral candidate noted were “safely and securely stored.” No cash, electronics or valuables were taken, she said. “It’s unnerving and, unfortunately, it’s something that far too many Angelenos have faced,” Bass added. There have been 9,836 burglaries reported to the Los Angeles Police Department so far this year. This is up 15 percent from the same time last year, which saw 8,549 burglaries in the same time period.
The Hill

Criminal Syndicate Claims Credit For LAUSD Hack; Authorities Won’t Say Whether It’s True
A cybercriminal syndicate that calls itself Vice Society has taken credit for the ransomware attack on Los Angeles schools and says it has captured sensitive data, according to published reports on two technology news sites and in tweets from an Associated Press senior technology reporter. Supt. Alberto Carvalho declined to name the hackers, but said Friday that their identity was already well-known to law enforcement before the attack. He said the hackers had contacted L.A. Unified without making a specific dollar demand — and then later extended their deadline to negotiate with the district over restoring its systems and data. He did not elaborate further. The extent of the breach is far-reaching and still being assessed and the hackers had likely been probing the school system for weeks, Carvalho said. They probably targeted the four-day Labor Day weekend for their attack, he said, as a time when there’s less watchfulness over operations. Hackers reached but did not have time to disable the student information system. It is not known yet whether they took data, Carvalho said. “We don’t have an answer for that,” Carvalho said Friday during a news conference at a school in Cypress Park. “That is truly still within the realm of active investigation.“
LA Times

Shooting Near Montecito Heights Closes 110 Freeway
A person was hospitalized Saturday morning after being shot near Montecito Heights. The shooting was reported at 1:15 .am. and officers from the California Highway Patrol responded to State Route 110 and Avenue 26 where they found the victim, according to reports from the scene. The individual was taken to a hospital in unknown condition. The identity of the individual has not be released. The shooting closed the freeway for nearly two hours.

Man Found Dead In Willowbrook Home After Stabbing: LASD
A man in his 50s was found dead in a Willowbrook home Friday morning, and investigators believe he was the victim of a deadly stabbing. The unidentified victim was found in a home in the 13200 block of South Penrose Avenue, near Compton, at about 8:30 a.m., the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. “Upon arriving, deputies found the unidentified man unresponsive inside. The victim appeared to be the victim of an assault,” officials said. No suspect information is available, though officials said the killing “does not appear to be gang related.” Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

Help Needed To Identify Man In Fatal Assault For A Cell Phone At Compton's Blue Line Station
Investigators asked for the public's help Friday to identify the suspect who fatally assaulted a man at a Blue Line station in Compton. Oscar Ayala, 27, was assaulted at the station, 275 Willowbrook Avenue, and died from his injuries, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Authorities say both Ayala and the suspect were passengers on the southbound Blue Line train. The two men did not appear to know each other prior to the train ride, but appeared to chat as they walked toward the station exit. Just beyond the turnstile, Los Angeles County Lt. Hugo Reynaga said the suspect punched Ayala several times in the face. Ayala fell to the ground and hit his head on the concrete. Security video shows the suspect rifled through his pockets and took Ayala's cell phone, then walked away northbound, Reynaga said. Ayala, whose family said he leaves behind a young son, was taken to a hospital where he died several days later. "This person took a beautiful 1-year-old baby boy's father, a father who loved him so much," Ayala's sister, Ana said at a news conference Friday. "His son will grow up without a father to guide him, protect him, or love him. Our lives will never be the same."

California Man With Extensive Criminal History Released Early; Arrested On New Murder Charge
A man with an extensive criminal history who was released early from prison has been arrested on a new murder charge. Byron Floyd, 58, was arrested on Monday in connection with the Sept. 1 shooting death of Fredrick Williams, 43, in San Bernardino. Officers found Floyd to be in possession of a loaded firearm. He was placed under arrest for weapons violations and was transported to the San Bernardino Police Department where he was interviewed by homicide detectives. Based on statements he provided to detectives, Floyd was placed under arrest for the murder of Williams and booked into a local jail facility. Williams was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest in the alley near the 1200 block of North Wall Avenue. He died at the hospital shortly thereafter. Police said that surveillance video showed the suspect clearly armed with a firearm in the area of the victim. That, coupled with additional information provided by witnesses, homicide detectives were able to find identifying facts that confirmed Floyd was the suspect. Detectives learned that Floyd had an extensive criminal history. This history included two arrests for murder, with a conviction of manslaughter and murder in both 1983 and 1993. Floyd’s 1993 conviction was a sentence of 23 years; however, he was released after serving approximately 50% of that time.
FOX 11

Felon Charged With LEO’s Attempted Murder Received 2018 Plea Deal After Rifle Wasn’t Seized
Philip Lee, the man charged with the attempted murder of Richmond Police Department Officer Seara Burton, allegedly evaded a 2018 weapon charge when a rifle wasn’t seized in a critical error, resulting in his early release from prison. Lee adds another charge to a host of other felonies that have resulted in him being locked up for 22 of the last 28 years. Lee has past charges that include possession of marijuana and cocaine, battery, burglary, auto theft, escape and perjury. Previously, he attempted to run from police, bit them and attempted to steal their service weapons, 13 WTHR reported. “Officers were aware that Lee claimed he was not going back to jail and would shoot any officer or agent that encountered him,” an affidavit stated when Lee pled guilty to resisting officers in 2017. A year later, Lee was given a plea deal, which had him serve less than four years after investigators didn’t collect critical evidence, a rifle, that was located at the crime scene. Lee was released in January, but according to the state’s guidelines, he would have likely still been in prison until 2023 had the rifle been located. Several months after his release, Burton stopped Lee for suspected drug activity.

Washington Officers Ambushed In Drive-By Shooting Earn Shriners Awards
Two Spokane police officers who authorities say were targeted by gang members in a shooting earlier this summer earned El Katif Shriners Officer of the Year awards Saturday, a ceremony that honors local law enforcement and remembers the lives lost on 9/11. "The officers (Kris) Honaker and (Michele) Kernkamp were targeted simply for being police officers," said Michael Castelan, high priest and prophet of the Shriners. "That makes this incident even more heinous and is a reason why we honor them today with the Shriners Officer of the Year Award." Honaker was shot in the leg and a bullet grazed his scalp in the drive-by shooting. He was treated and released from a local hospital within a day of being wounded. Isaac Ott, 21, and Ray Wynecoop, 22, are accused of shooting at two houses in northeast Spokane on June 28. Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl said Kernkamp was one of the first officers to respond to the area when she noticed the suspects filming her from a vehicle. The two men then pursued her in a 2014 Chrysler 300, according to court documents. Meidl said Honaker was the first officer who was able to get close to Kernkamp's vehicle when shots were fired from the suspects' vehicle.
The Spokesman-Review

Watch: New York Trooper Dives Into Pond To Rescue Unconscious Man
New York State Trooper Francis Rush sprang into action to save a man that drove his vehicle into a pond and the daring rescue was caught on bodycam footage. According to Mid Hudson News, the incident occurred on August 17 when Trooper Rush responded to the call in which the vehicle was submerged in 15 feet of water. Rush got into the water and swam toward the vehicle, where the driver was unconscious. He pulled the driver out and back onto dry land, saving his life in the process. The man had driven into the pond after experiencing a medical emergency. A thorough search by rescue divers determined no other people had been in the vehicle at the time. The driver was treated on the scene before being transported to a nearby hospital.

Public Safety News

3 LAFD Firefighters Injured After Fire Erupts At Historic Church In South Los Angeles
Three firefighters were injured early Sunday morning while battling a fire that engulfed a historic church in South Los Angeles, officials said. More than 100 firefighters responded to the major emergency fire at a two-story church in the South Park area for one hour and 40 minutes. One firefighter suffered moderate injuries and two others sustained minor injuries; two of them were transported to a hospital while the other was treated at the scene, an LAFD spokesperson said. Firefighters were expected to remain on the scene for some time to pour water on hot spots and smoldering debris, said the Los Angeles Fire Department's Nicholas Prange. The fire was reported at 2:22 a.m. at the Victory Baptist Church, 4802 S. McKinley Ave., Prange said. Firefighters ended the offensive battle and took up defensive positions outside the building after the interior structure collapsed, trapping multiple firefighters, he said. The defensive fight was aimed at putting out the flames and protecting structures near the burning building, which was constructed more than 100 years ago. Arson investigators were summoned to the scene.

LA County Reports 15 More COVID-Related Deaths, 2,228 New Infections
Los Angeles County has reported 15 more COVID-19-related deaths, along with 2,228 new cases. The new fatalities lifted the county's virus-related death toll from throughout the pandemic to 33,348, while the overall number of infections rose to 3,425,863. Health officials have noted that official case numbers are likely low due to the number of people who rely on at-home tests but do not report the results to the county. According to state figures, there were 765 COVID-infected patients in LA County hospitals as of Friday, down from 780 a day earlier. Of those patients, 106 were being treated in intensive care, up from 101 on Thursday. County officials have said about 43% of patients with COVID were actually hospitalized due to virus-related illness, while the rest were admitted for other reasons, with some only learning they were infected when they were tested upon admission. The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 6.3% as of Friday, down from 7.6% on Thursday. The county this week began offering the recently approved COVID vaccine booster shot that targets the Omicron variants of the virus. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer compared the amended vaccination to the annual flu shot, which is adjusted annually based on circulating influenza strains.



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