The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has ruled that a Los Angeles police officer acted lawfully in fatally shooting a 22-year-old Panorama City man who called 911 in February and threatened to commit suicide, according to a report released Wednesday.
In a five-page memorandum, the District Attorney’s Office found that Los Angeles Police Department Officer Michael Martinez “reasonably believed” that another officer, Axcel Mannoury, “was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury when he used deadly force” against Orbel Nazarians on Feb. 26.
The young man had called 911 that morning, told the operator that he was armed with a handgun and a knife and was going to kill himself, according to the document.
As the officers approached Nazarians’ home, he came out of the garage, approached Mannoury with a long sharp metal object in his right hand and concealed an unknown object in a towel in his left hand and charged toward the officer while ignoring commands to drop the weapon, according to the document.
Authorities subsequently determined that the long sharp object was a metal rod and the item wrapped inside the towel was a can opener, according to the report.
Two other officers fired rounds from a Taser and a beanbag shotgun that did not strike Nazarians, according to the document.
“Nazarians’ statements to the 911 operator and his actions toward Mannoury indicate that he committed `suicide by cop,’ such that he intentionally acted in a manner, which he knew would likely result in the police shooting him,” according to the document.
The report also noted that Nazarians’ mother told police that her son suffered from bipolar depression, had not been taking his medication or eating for a few days and had attempted suicide in the past.
Nazarians — who fell to the ground in the street with the metal rod in his hand — was pronounced dead at the scene of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the document.
The District Attorney’s Office also concluded that another LAPD officer, Edward Agdeppa, “acted lawfully and in self-defense of others” when he fatally shot Jerauld Hammond on Aug. 4, 2017, after the 46-year-old man barricaded himself inside a Motel 6 at 1738 Whitley Ave. in Hollywood.
Hammond had threatened numerous people, including other motel guests, and refused to leave the second-floor motel room despite requests made by Agdeppa for more than 11 minutes, according to the report. Agdeppa yelled “Gun! Gun! Gun!” and fired four rounds from his service weapon at Hammond through the door after the motel room opened, according to a report on the shooting.
“At that point in time, Agdeppa had no way to eliminate the threat Hammond posed other than the use of deadly force,” according to the document.
Hammond was found dead inside the room about three hours later after a robot was eventually used to deem the room safe, and a loaded semi-automatic pistol was found on the floor between Hammond’s legs, according to the document. Two other loaded semi-automatic pistols were also found nearby, according to the report.