LAPD Officers Confront Stabbing Suspect in Van Nuys Area: Patrol Officers Fire Their Handguns When the Suspect Presses Knife Against Female Hostage's Neck
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: On June 16, 2018, around 1:10 p.m., LAPD Communications Division received a 9-1-1 call reporting a man with a large knife assaulting a woman outside a homeless outreach center located on the 6400 block of Tyrone Avenue in Van Nuys.
LAPD patrol officers assigned to Van Nuys Division quickly responded to the outreach center and located a man, later identified as Guillermo Perez, holding a large serrated knife. Perez approached the officers as they emerged from their vehicles and the officers immediately attempted to de-escalate the situation by verbally directing Perez to drop the knife. Perez, however, ignored the officers' directions and continued to approach.
An officer equipped with a less-lethal, beanbag shotgun fired at Perez who deflected two of the rounds using a folding chair and then ran in the opposite direction. As Perez ran from the officers he grabbed a woman standing next to a nearby building. Perez then pushed the woman in between himself and the officers, raised the serrated knife, and pressed it against the woman's neck. At this point three officers fired their handguns at Perez who was hit by the gun fire and fell to the ground. Tragically, Perez's hostage was also struck by gunfire and collapsed.
Los Angeles Fire Department personnel responded to the scene and transported Perez and the woman to local hospitals. Perez later died at the hospital and the female victim was admitted to the hospital in critical condition.
Officers located the initial stabbing victim who was also transported to the hospital and treated for knife wounds.
LAPD's specialized Force Investigation Division responded to the scene and began interviewing witnesses and collecting forensic evidence. Representatives from the Office of the Inspector General and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Justice System Integrity Division responded and monitored the investigation.
The LAPD will have further details regarding this incident in its Critical Incident Community Briefing scheduled for public release on July 31, 2018.
The complete investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Board of Police Commissioners and the Office of the Inspector General to determine the thoroughness and accuracy of the investigation and whether the use of deadly force complied with the 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 officer(s) violated any criminal laws.
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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