Los Angeles, CA – A knife-wielding attacker was fatally shot by police as he charged at a Los Angeles police officer on Nov. 19 (video below).
The incident began at approximately 8 a.m., when a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) sergeant was flagged down by a citizen in the area of Central Avenue and 34th Street, KTLA reported.
The citizen told the sergeant that a man armed with a knife was walking northbound on Central Avenue.
“The sergeant searched the area for the armed man, located him, and requested a backup,” the LAPD said in a press release. “Additional Newton Area officers responded and followed the suspect, later identified as Alex Flores Jr., to the area of 28th Street and Central Avenue.”
Bodycam footage showed officers as they ran to the area where the sergeant had intercepted Flores.
“Drop the f–king knife!” one officer ordered. “Drop it or you’ll get f–king shot!”
Officer Rosario Cervantes said that Flores, 34, confronted a civilian with the blade at one point, causing the potential victim to “run away in fear,” KTLA reported.
Another officer radioed that he was responding with a Taser as police raced towards the harrowing scene, the video showed.
They arrived to find an officer holding the knife-wielding attacker at gunpoint.
“Don’t come at me! Don’t’ come at me!” he told Flores, as the suspect began walking in his direction. “Stop!”
But instead of complying, Flores began sprinting towards the officer, the video showed.
As police opened fire, the officer backed towards the curb to create distance between him and the advancing attacker.
The wounded suspect immediately collapsed in the middle of the street as blood began to saturate his clothing, the video showed.
Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, according to the press release.
None of the officers were injured during the encounter, and Flores’ knife was recovered at the scene.
An angry mob of approximately 40 protesters descended on the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Newton Station two days later, demanding “justice” for the suspect, KCBS reported.
They unsuccessfully attempted to gain entry into the station before they vandalized the front doors and outside walls by spray painting phrases such as “KILLER COPS” and “Justice For Alex Flores.”
Dozens of officers were dispatched to the station to disperse the unruly mob, but no one was arrested.
“What message does it send if we let vandals openly damage a police station?” Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) Director Jamie McBride asked KCBS. “What is to prevent the next group from gaining entry to the station and attacking officers and residents in the lobby? These types of incidents must not be tolerated.”
“People can have the right to have a peaceful protest, but when it turns into a mob mentality, then that creates problems,” McBride added. “Nobody fears going to jail in California. It’s like a free-crime zone.”
The LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division is handling the ongoing investigation into the officer-involved shooting, the department said in the press release.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division and the Office of the Inspector General are also monitoring the investigation.
Once the investigation is complete, the Police Board of Commissioners, the LAPD chief, and the Inspector General’s Office will determine whether the officers’ use of deadly force complied with department policy and procedures.
The district attorney’s office will determine whether the officers violated any criminal laws during the encounter.
You can watch bodycam footage of the officers’ encounter with Flores in the video below: