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Law Enforcement News
Coroner Says Death Of LAPD Officer During Training Exercise Was An Accident
The Los Angeles Coroner's Office said the officer that died during a training exercise at the Los Angeles Police Academy in late May was an accident. According to Coroner's Office, 32-year-old LAPD officer Houston Tipping died of a spinal cord injury after a grappling exercise. During the exercise, Tipping — and the student — fell to the ground onto his neck which fractured part of his vertebrae and ultimately led to his death. The officer also suffered several other injuries. Additionally, in his report, Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Lawrence Nguyen said he found several other medical-related injuries during the autopsy including a laceration on his left scalp from a C-clamp placement during spinal surgery and fractured ribs that appeared to be from CPR with a LUCAS device. "A LUCAS device provides mechanical chest compressions and has been known to cause rib fractures and liver lacerations," Nguyen wrote. Nguyen also added that the office "carefully considered and weighed" the manner of death.
Coroner Names 2 Men Killed In Weekend San Pedro Park Shooting
Two men who were killed at a San Pedro park in a shooting that left six other people injured were identified Wednesday. Tashman Williams, 31, of Compton, and Carlyle Phillips, 29, of Cypress, were killed in the shooting that occurred at 3:50 p.m. Sunday at Peck Park, 560 Western Ave. Paramedics took another man and four women to hospitals following the shooting. Another injured man was taken to a hospital in a private vehicle, police said. All six survivors were hospitalized and police said they were stable. The LAPD went on a citywide tactical alert after the shooting. The entire park was being treated as a crime scene and was closed for the investigation. As many as 500 people were believed to be at the park at the time. No arrests had been announced as of Wednesday afternoon. During a community meeting Tuesday, police said the shooting stemmed from an altercation involving individuals and was not an incident of gang-on-gang violence. Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to call LAPD’s South Bureau Homicide Division at 323-786-5113; 877-LAPD-247.
Suspect In Wounding Of Off-Duty LASD Deputy Released From Custody With No Charges
A man who was arrested in the shooting of an off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in Harbor City has been released from custody and charges are not being filed at this time, officials said Wednesday. The shooting Monday night was considered the result of a domestic dispute and the suspect taken into custody was believed to be the deputy's father-in-law, a pastor at a local church. The shooting at a home in the 23300 block of Dorset Place left the deputy hospitalized in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the upper body. The deputy is a 10-year veteran who works at the department's Century Station. After police responded to the scene, they took a suspect into custody and say they found a handgun at the scene. Wednesday night, the office of District Attorney George Gascón said after reviewing evidence and witness statements, it was declining to charge him with a crime. The office said it could not detail specific reasons as it is "still investigating whether other parties involved may have engaged in conduct that may lead to criminal charges being filed."
Man Shot Near Former Cecil Hotel Downtown, LAPD Searching For Suspect
A man was shot near the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday night, and the Los Angeles Police Department is searching for the shooter. According to LAPD, a call came in for a shooting near the intersection of 7th Street and S. Main Street around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday. When officers got there, they found a man in his 50s who had been shot, but officers say he was conscious and breathing. That man was transferred to the hospital in unknown condition. Police did not have a detailed description of the suspected shooter, just that they were a man wearing a black shirt and tan or white pants. The suspect was last seen headed south on Main Street. SkyFOX was over the scene Wednesday night, observing police cruisers, fire trucks and ambulances near the intersection.
Man Killed After Pointing Gun At LAPD Officers
A suspect armed with a gun was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon after pointing a gun at people and officers in Lincoln Heights.
FOX 11 Video
Caught On Video: Burglars Ransack Jewelry And Watch Repair Shop In Pico-Robertson Area
A pair of burglars were caught on video ransacking a jewelry and watch repair shop in the Pico-Robertson District. The break-in happened Sunday at about 4:30 a.m. in the 9000 block of West Pico Boulevard. One of the men broke a window to get in, and the pair stole watches and jewelry estimated to be worth $150,000. Menachem Kashanian stopped to help the store owner clean up, and described how the burglars got in. "This is the crazy part. They spray painted the cameras on their way in, but we captured some of them doing their things, there was masks, orange jacket, hats, gloves," Kashanian said. "They came out of their car and they just started [unintelligible] things with a sledgehammer, then things into their bags." Kashanian says the burglars also visited another store across the street and spray painted their cameras, but apparently did not break in. The owner, Hooshmand Talasazan, said his store had been hit by burglars before. Police did not release suspect information, but security video showed at least two men in the store, including one who wore a bright orange hooded sweatshirt, a dark cap, dark glasses, and a blue medical-style face mask.
Burbank Institutes 45-Day Moratorium On New Gun Dealers While It Weighs Restrictions
Burbank has instituted a 45-day moratorium on new gun retailers as the city considers whether to enact new restrictions on firearms sellers. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to implement the moratorium, which took effect immediately, and direct city staff to use the time to research potential changes to gun ordinances. The changes could include indefinitely suspending the issuance of new licenses, allowing the number of gun stores in Burbank to decline through attrition, establishing more requirements for retailers to renew licenses and enacting new zoning rules to prevent gun stores from opening near schools or other “sensitive use” areas. Burbank has 14 licensed gun dealers, or one for every 7,386 residents — a concentration nearly 15 times greater than in the city of Los Angeles, according to a staff report commissioned this year to study gun stores in Burbank and their effects on crime. The concentration is also higher than in cities such as Pasadena and Glendale, the report said. “We hear and understand the community’s concerns regarding firearms and firearm retailers in Burbank,” Mayor Jess Tamalantes said in a statement, “which is why City Council advocates for measures that seek to keep our community safe while also protecting an individual’s right to lawfully bear arms under the Second Amendment.”
Massachusetts State Police K-9 Shot And Killed At Standoff
A Mass State Police K-9 was shot and killed at a standoff in Fitchburg Tuesday afternoon, a “heartbreaking” loss as Frankie became the first MSP canine to be killed in the line of duty. Frankie, a 10-year-old Belgian Malinois who was a member of Mass State Police for nine years, was fatally shot while trying to apprehend a wanted fugitive who had barricaded himself inside a residence. Frankie’s handler, Trooper David Stucenski, was not physically injured. “His sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Col. Christopher Mason said at a press conference while announcing Frankie’s death. “Frankie had every trait we seek in a good law enforcement officer, canine or human: Intelligence, immense courage, and dedication to protecting the public. He was as loyal a partner as any trooper ever had. “He was a beloved member of the Massachusetts State Police family and the Stucenski family,” Mason added. “He was, as much as any human of the member of the Department, one of us and part of us.” The fugitive suspect — Matthew Mack, 38 — later died after apparently shooting himself inside the three-story, multi-family house at 40 Oliver St. Mack was wanted on warrants charging him with firearms offenses and accessory after the fact stemming from a shooting incident in Fitchburg last week.
Atlanta Police Say New Approach To Targeting Gangs Is Getting Results
Atlanta police are taking out dozens more warrants for gang charges than they had at this time last year and one ranking officer says it is saving lives. Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne learned APD also has two top investigators from the west coast cradle of gangs in town this week. Atlanta police special enforcement commander Ralph Woolfolk said this time last year, Atlanta police had secured 69 warrants for gang charges. As of Sunday, for this year, APD has issued 108 gang warrants. He said this makes communities safer to work, live and play in and he has no doubt it has saved lives. “We’re showing a 56% increase in our gang warrants this year and all of that just as part of the comprehensive plan that we’ve had in eradicating gang activity here in the city of Atlanta,” Woolfolk said. Woolfolk said the gang crisis in Atlanta warranted a new approach. “We know that this is a crisis. We understand the nature of the problem,” Woolfolk said. He told Winne that this year the number of arrest warrants for violating the state gang law taken out through APD has increased by more than 56% as of July 24 in significant part because of a new focus. “The increase in gang warrants, is it a reflection of increase in gang activity or a reflection of new strategies being used by APD?” Winne asked Woolfolk.
Minneapolis Police Precinct Struck By Gunfire; 3 Suspects Arrested
Three people were arrested after gunfire early Tuesday passed near police officers in the parking lot of the 4th Precinct headquarters in north Minneapolis, with one bullet piercing the building's window, a Police Department spokesman said. No injuries among were reported among any civilians or the officers, who did not return fire, said Police Department spokesman Officer Garrett Parten. Residential buildings nearby were also hit by the gunfire. Three men were arrested, and two guns were recovered, Parten said. Two of them were caught after running from a vehicle that the officers stopped, while a third was apprehended nearby while trying to hide, according to Parten. The men's identities were not released. Parten said in a statement said the officers "heard gunfire and the sound of bullets passing by them." The spokesman's statement added, "Preliminary information indicates that an exchange of gunfire occurred between an unknown number of individuals. It is unclear if the 4th Precinct was targeted."
Public Safety News
Firefighter Hospitalized After Being Pulled Out Of Burning Building In Lakewood; 1 Found Dead Inside
A man was found dead inside a Lakewood building Thursday morning after an injured Los Angeles County firefighter was rescued from inside while the flames were raging. Crews were called to a YMCA gymnastics center near Lakewood Boulevard and South Street just after 1:30 a.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. At one point during their firefight, crews had to shift focus to rescue one of their own trapped inside the building. The moment the injured firefighter was pulled outside was captured on video, which appeared to show the firefighter holding an oxygen mask to their face. The nature of that firefighter's injuries were not clear but they were rushed to the hospital. Officials said a man, not a firefighter, was discovered dead inside the building. No other details were disclosed. Sheriff's deputies also responded to the scene after receiving reports of someone going inside the building before the fire started. It's unclear if that individual was the deceased person. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Child Falls From 4th-Story Window In Westlake: Officials
A child was taken to a local hospital after falling from a fourth-floor window in Westlake Wednesday evening, officials said. The child, whose gender and age have not been released, fell from a building in the 300 block of Columbia Avenue just before 7 p.m., according to Officer Im of the Los Angeles Police Department and Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The child was transported by ambulance after the four-story fall, Im said. The child’s condition has not been disclosed, and no further information was available.
Decision Expected On Possible COVID Mask Mandate In LA County
Los Angeles County health officials are expected to announce Thursday whether a mandatory indoor mask-wearing mandate will be imposed in response to elevated COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer indicated twice over the past week that plans to reimpose a masking mandate could be put on hold in light of recent stabilizing hospitalization figures and a drop in average daily infection numbers. She said earlier the mandate would be imposed if the county remains in the “high” virus activity level as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for two consecutive weeks. The county entered the “high” category two weeks ago when the average daily rate of COVID-related hospital admissions rose above 10 per 100,000 residents. As of last Thursday, the rate was 11.7 admissions per 100,000 residents. If the rate remains in the “high” level Thursday, the mandate could be imposed beginning Friday. But according to Ferrer, the county may delay the move if there’s a continuing downward trend in numbers, or if the rate of new virus-related hospital admissions is at least approaching the threshold level that would drop the county back to “medium” virus activity.
Local Government News
Funding For Sixth Street Bridge Maintenance Passes LA Council Committee
The Los Angeles City Council’s Public Works Committee has recommended that the council approve $706,000 to remove graffiti and provide other maintenance on the Sixth Street Bridge after police closed the bridge to traffic four of the past six days. The bridge, connecting Boyle Heights with the downtown Arts District, was reopened early Wednesday after yet another overnight closure — the fourth in five nights — due to “illegal activity” that has included people converging on the span, performing spinouts, burnouts or blocking traffic. The span was reopened at about 4 a.m. Wednesday. People are leaving skid marks after doing spinouts and donuts in their cars. Others have stopped their vehicles to take pictures, a byproduct of the bridge being built during the social media era, according to Councilman Kevin de Leon, whose district includes the bridge.
LA Council Defers Final Vote On Homeless Encampment Ban Near Schools
The Los Angeles City Council today delayed until next week a final vote on an ordinance that would ban homeless encampments within 500 feet of schools and daycare centers. The council voted 10-1 in favor of the ordinance earlier this month, with Councilman Mike Bonin dissenting. Since the vote was not unanimous, the matter requires a second vote. The issue was on the agenda Wednesday -- the council's first meeting since its summer recess -- but the vote was reset for next Tuesday. Despite the vote being delayed, several members of the public spoke in opposition to the proposed ordinance Wednesday, and homeless advocates gathered outside City Hall to protest before the meeting. The ordinance is an amendment to the city's sweeping law regulating the location of homeless encampments. Municipal Code 41.18 prohibits sitting, sleeping, lying or otherwise obstructing the public right of way in several areas of the city. Those areas include within 2 feet of any fire hydrant or fire plug; within 5 feet of any operational or utilizable entrance or exit; within 10 feet of a loading dock or driveway; in a manner that interferes with any activity for which the city has issued a permit or restricts accessible passage as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act; or anywhere within a street, including bike paths.