**The following information is based on a preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview witnesses, review physical and electronic records, and analyze forensic evidence. The Department’s understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed**
Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Force Investigation Division is investigating an Officer-Involved Shooting (OIS) that occurred in a Pacific Division neighborhood early Sunday afternoon.
On October 29, 2017, around 1:45 p.m., Pacific Division uniformed officers responded to a radio call of a male with mental illness, in the 13100 block of Psomas Way, in Pacific Division. Upon the officers’ arrival, they met with the suspect’s wife and mental health workers from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, who had been called by the suspect’s family. The suspect was identified as 27-year-old, James Ward a resident of Los Angeles. After speaking with both parties, the officers attempted to make contact with Ward, but he refused to exit the residence and demanded that the officers leave the premises. It was during this time that Ward’s wife entered the house without the officers. Through the open front door, the officers observed Ward chase his wife, with a knife. Believing that she was in danger, the officers entered the home and followed them into a hall way.
The officers observed Ward take control of his wife from behind and held a knife to her throat, while threatening to kill her and them. The officers gave Ward numerous verbal commands to drop the knife but he refused to do so and moved forward toward them. Sergeant I Gregory Probst, Serial No. 31376, fired his police service weapon at Ward. Ward sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound at which time he dropped the knife and was taken into custody without further incident.
The Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene and transported Ward to a local hospital, where he was medically treated and eventually booked for Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW), section 245(A)(1) of the California Penal Code.
Fortunately, neither his wife or the involved officers were hurt as a result of this incident. The knife used by Ward was also recovered from inside the residence and booked as evidence.
LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division (FID) responded to the scene and began interviewing witnesses and collecting forensic evidence. The District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Inspector General also had representatives at scene.
The complete investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Board of Police Commissioners to determine whether the use of deadly force complied with LAPD’s policies and procedures. Additionally, representatives from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who responded to the scene will review the subsequent FID investigation; evidence collected and witness statements to determine if the force used by the officers(s) was reasonable.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to call the LAPD at any of the following numbers:
• During business hours at (213) 486-5230;
• During non-business hours or on weekends at (877)-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247);
• Anonymously 24-hours a day to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or by texting “LAPD” and your tip to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S); or
• Online at www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.
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