Los Angeles police on Thursday released the names of two officers involved in a shooting that left a 45-year-old suspect dead in Van Nuys last month.
The officers were identified as Zackary Goldstein and Andrew Hacoupian, Officer Rosario Herrera of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section said.
The suspect in the shooting, which occurred at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at Victory and Sepulveda boulevards, was identified by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office as James Byrd of Van Nuys. He died at the scene.
Police say Byrd threw a beer bottle through the rear window of a patrol car, leading the officers inside to believe they were being shot at, and then pointed his hand at them while holding a dark object after they got out of the cruiser.
The officers were stopped at a red light, about to turn onto Victory Boulevard from Sepulveda, when the rear window of the vehicle was shattered.
“They were approached from the rear by an individual who threw a, what we believe to be a 40-ounce beer bottle through the rear view window of the police vehicle with such force that the officers believed they were being fired upon,” Police Chief Charlie Beck said after the shooting.
“They alighted from the vehicle and an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
Once outside the vehicle, the officers saw the man point his hand at them, above waist level, while “holding an unknown dark object,” according to an LAPD statement.
“Taken together with the other circumstances the officers believed this individual posed an imminent threat to them,” according to the LAPD.
Beck said the shooting remains under investigation, and the officers, who were not injured, have been taken out of the field.
It’s unclear what the man was holding, but police have not reported recovering any weapon other than the broken glass bottle found in the back seat of the patrol vehicle.
Thirty-three people have been shot by Los Angeles police this year, 18 of them fatally, according to the Los Angeles Times, which was first to report the identities of the officers and the suspect.
— City News Service