The Police Commission Tuesday backed the recommendation of Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck and ruled that officers’ use of force in two separate shootings nearly a year ago were within department policy.
The commissioners discussed both cases in a closed session before making the announcement.
The first shooting occurred on Dec. 29, 2015 when Officer Richard Alba shot and killed 33-year-old Tien Hua after a standoff in Rosemead.
The standoff began when officers tried to serve arrest and search warrants. Hua, the suspect in a fatal shooting two days earlier, barricaded himself when police arrived, said Officer Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section.
Negotiators attempted to persuade Hua to surrender. Eventually, SWAT officers breached the location and fired tear gas canisters into the home, police said.
Hua then fled to the “rear yard and then eventually climbed onto a storage shed with an object in his hand,” according to the LAPD.
Officers assigned to the rear containment team ordered Hua to surrender, but he turned and pointed the object toward the officers, police said.
A SWAT officer the fired his rifle, striking the suspect who then fell from the storage shed roof into the rear yard, according to the LAPD. Paramedics then administered medical aid but Hua was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
A hand-held torch lighter and cellphone were found next to Hua, police said.
The second shooting occurred on Jan. 4 when detectives Peter Miranda and Marcello Rafi shot and wounded 32-year-old Artyom Gasparyan following a high-speed chase and crash on the Golden State (5) Freeway in Sun Valley.
The detectives names were redacted from Beck’s report and it was not clear from the report if both detectives were responsible for injuring Gasparyan, but both fired rounds at him.
After being spotted by police at an auto repair shop, Gasparyan allegedly drove the wrong way on the Golden State Freeway and crashed into another car before being shot by police.
Beck’s report said Gasparyan was armed with a handgun and the detectives believed he was going to fire on them.
Police say Gasparyan went on a month-long crime spree and after his arrest was charged with 11 counts of attempted murder, seven counts of second- degree robbery, two counts each of carjacking and fleeing police while driving recklessly and one count each of hit-and-run driving resulting in injury, assault with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon involving alleged crimes between Dec. 6, 2015, and Jan. 4.
–City News Service