An activist called Tuesday for the release of more information about the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old father of three in a parked car in Willowbrook by one or more sheriff’s deputies.
Najee Ali, a representative of the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP, told the board that Ryan Twyman “was not a gang member, was not a criminal, and if he was, we would have heard.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported that around 7:30 p.m. June 6, deputies approached Twyman, who was sitting with another man inside a sedan parked in the lot of an apartment complex near 132nd and San Pedro streets.
A deputy-involved shooting occurred and Twyman was struck by multiple bullets in his upper body and died at the scene, according to the department and the coroner’s office. The other man, who was not hurt, was arrested on suspicion of assault on a peace officer, according to the department and reporting by KTLA5.
No deputies were injured.
Ali said the lack of details released about the shooting, including whether Twyman was suspected of a crime, was telling and urged the board and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in particular to address the issue.
“Historically, the sheriff’s department has always tried to criminalize the victim that they shot and killed,” Ali told City News Service. “They’ve done nothing of that sort concerning Ryan … their silence is deafening.”
The sheriff’s department issued a statement of sympathy on Monday.
“The sheriff’s department would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Ryan Twyman. We understand many in the community are upset by Mr. Twyman’s passing and we empathize with their concerns about his untimely death,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.
“When a deputy-involved shooting occurs multiple independent investigations immediately begin at the scene, including an investigation by the county District Attorney’s Office. Public safety of all Los Angeles County residents remains the department’s number one priority,” the statement continued.
Attorney Brian Dunn told the Los Angeles Times that he plans to file a claim against the department on behalf of Twyman’s family.
“There are no circumstances that would justify shooting into a car unless there is an active gunfight going on,” Dunn told the newspaper.
Dunn and Ali both said Twyman was unarmed, but the original statement issued by the department did not mention a weapon or the lack of one and an LASD spokeswoman could not immediately provide confirmation Tuesday.
Twyman was one of three men who died June 6 in deputy-involved shootings.
Roughly three hours later, Edtwon Stamps, 27, was shot in the 3700 block of Imperial Highway in Inglewood. Again, few details beyond time, place and confirmation of a fatal shooting were provided by the sheriff’s department. Deputies were not injured and, in this case, a handgun was recovered at the scene, according to the LASD.
Deputies on the scene could be heard on scanner transmissions saying the suspect was armed and sitting in the front seat of a patrol car. Video from the shooting scene showed a patrol car with a pair of bullet holes in the windshield.
The afternoon began with a man barricaded inside a San Gabriel home who torched the house, fired shots at law enforcement and set off fireworks before being fatally shot by deputies when he emerged holding what appeared to be a shotgun.
Officers responded about 12:30 p.m. June 6 to an address in the 2000 block of Brighton Street after a woman called 911 to report a man with a gun inside her home, authorities said.
When officers arrived at the home, Jose Salvador Meza, 35, fired at officers, who returned fire, police said. The woman was able to escape from the residence.
After setting a fire around 5 p.m., Meza, shirtless and holding a gun, ran to a second home on the property and tossed fireworks from inside.
At one point Meza ran between the two homes carrying a weapon in each hand.
He refused to surrender despite efforts made by crisis negotiators. When he emerged from the doorway aiming what appeared to be a shotgun, he was fatally wounded by members of the SWAT team.
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