LAPD releases video of officers shooting knife-wielding man, hostage

Los Angeles Police Department officers had gone 13 years without killing a hostage or bystander while confro...

Posted: Aug 2, 2018 11:45 AM
Updated: Aug 2, 2018 11:45 AM

Los Angeles Police Department officers had gone 13 years without killing a hostage or bystander while confronting armed suspects.

In the last six weeks, though, such shootings -- described by LAPD Chief Michel Moore as "every officer's worst nightmare' -- have happened twice.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Hostage taking

Michel Moore

Misc people

Shootings

California

Continents and regions

Law enforcement

Los Angeles

Los Angeles police department

Misc organizations

North America

Policing and police forces

Southwestern United States

The Americas

United States

Outlining steps to prevent the deaths of other bystanders or hostages, Moore this week released video of officers fatally shooting a man and the woman he was holding with a knife at her throat in Van Nuys on June 16.

"Tragically, this is another case where officers were forced to make split-second decisions based on the actions of a violent individual," Moore told reporters. "This was a tense situation that unfolded very quickly and it's every officer's worst nightmare."

The Van Nuys shooting happened a few weeks before the assistant manager of a Trader Joe's in Los Angeles was shot and killed by an officer's bullet. Melyda Corado was fatally shot as she left Trader Joe's while police exchanged fire with a gunman who later took hostages in the store.

On June 16, officers responded to 911 calls about a man who had stabbed his former girlfriend inside a church in the Van Nuys neighborhood, police said.

During the incident, officers fired 18 shots at suspect Guillermo Perez, 32, who was pressing a serrated knife against the throat of a woman standing outside the church.

The woman, Elizabeth Tollison, who was 49 and homeless, was shot twice and died later at a hospital, police said.

In the video released by LAPD, Perez -- a large kitchen knife in one hand and a metal folding chair in the other -- is seen moving toward officers. He refused numerous demands to drop the weapon.

After a beanbag gun failed to stop the suspect, Perez moved toward Tollison and held the knife against her throat as three officers opened fire, according to the video.

"Was each round appropriate?" Moore asked. "That's the subject of this investigation and I will not comment on that until I have all the facts."

Moore said the department was implementing new training procedures and expanding use of a nonlethal 40 millimeter launcher that fires a large foam baton intended to stop armed suspects.

"I spoke with members of Ms. Tollison's family and expressed our sadness at this horrible situation," Moore said. "Personally, my heart goes out to this victim's family and I also feel for the officers who were involved in this, as their lives will be forever changed."

Moore said LAPD officers have long been trained to aim a "precise head shot" at suspects during hostage situations.

"The life of the hostage is paramount and protecting that individual from the threat of the assailant," he said. "In doing that, the balancing act the officer has is how to protect them by stopping the suspect's actions."

Moore said the average number of shots fired by officers increased last year along with the number of officers involved in those shootings. The number of shootings in which suspects were armed with knives also increased, he said.

Possible suit on the horizon

An attorney for Tollison's family said Wednesday the family intends to file a wrongful death and negligence claim against the LAPD.

"The real tragedy is the Los Angeles Police Department's tactical response to this incident," Brian Dunn, an attorney with the Cochran Law Firm, told reporters in Los Angeles. "Because of a series of training violations, because of actions that fell completely below the standard of their own training protocol, what we had was a death of a completely innocent person that was totally and utterly preventable."

The department does not comment on pending litigation, Mark Lopez, an LAPD spokesman, said Wednesday.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office did not return a request for comment.

West Lafayette
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 67°
Kokomo
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 65°
Rensselaer
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 61°
Fowler
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Williamsport
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 62°
Crawfordsville
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 60°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 61°
Delphi
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 66°
Monticello
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 66°
Logansport
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 61°
Continued Comfortable Temperatures
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 69255

Reported Deaths: 2996
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15029724
Lake7139273
Elkhart463077
Allen3662158
St. Joseph320379
Hamilton2543104
Hendricks1774105
Vanderburgh176312
Cass17549
Johnson1667118
Porter120939
Tippecanoe111811
Clark110945
Madison86265
LaPorte84329
Howard82465
Kosciusko82213
Bartholomew74847
Marshall74422
Floyd71845
Monroe69530
Delaware65452
Boone64446
Dubois64312
Noble63729
Hancock62838
Jackson5544
LaGrange54610
Warrick52830
Shelby52226
Vigo50910
Grant50729
Dearborn47328
Morgan43732
Henry36418
Clinton3603
White34710
Montgomery34221
Wayne33410
Lawrence33127
Decatur31832
Harrison30022
Miami2592
Scott25210
Daviess24919
Greene24034
Putnam2338
Franklin22911
DeKalb2214
Jennings21312
Jasper2102
Gibson2024
Steuben2013
Ripley1907
Perry17212
Orange16424
Starke1647
Fayette1627
Wabash1613
Posey1600
Jefferson1522
Carroll1482
Whitley1486
Fulton1472
Knox1340
Wells1342
Huntington1193
Tipton1176
Washington1171
Spencer1123
Newton11110
Randolph1074
Clay1015
Adams822
Owen821
Jay810
Rush804
Sullivan781
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford552
Ohio514
Parke481
Pike470
Crawford440
Switzerland430
Martin420
Vermillion420
Union330
Warren191
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events