The mother of a former UCLA basketball player who killed himself at the end of a barricade situation in a Sherman Oaks home in 2018 is suing the city of Los Angeles, faulting the LAPD for their tactics leading up to her son’s death.
Liza Stazel’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed Wednesday and alleges negligence and wrongful death. She seeks unspecified damages.
Stazel was the mother of 27-year-old Tyler Honeycutt. She alleges the LAPD failed to deescalate the situation and get her son prompt medical care.
A representative for the City Attorney’s Office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Los Angeles police said at the time that Honeycutt was found dead after barricading himself for 11 hours on July 6, 2018. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office later ruled that Honeycutt had shot himself in the head.
Stazel called 911 to plead for medical assistance for her son that day, the suit states. She told the dispatcher that her son was having a “mental break” and had not slept in days, was hallucinating, displayed paranoia, but had and had not used any drugs that day, the suit states.
Nonetheless, she said his “brains may have been scrambled from previous use of nitric oxide while overseas,” the suit states.
She also said she called mental health workers two days prior to get her son medical attention and was told to contact 911 if her son’s behavior worsened, according to the complaint.
Upon arrival, officers began armed themselves with an array of weapons, including pistols, assault rifles, a 40 mm projectile launcher and stun guns, the suit states.
Stazel gave the officers the keys to the house, told them that a shotgun her son had was empty and that a pistol he had contained only three bullets in a magazine, the suit states. She additionally told the officers that her son was acting erratic due to a drop in blood sugar and that he had a history of mental illness, the suit states.
The officers asked Honeycutt to come out of the home, but he responded by asking the officers to lower their rifles, apparently out of fear and intimidation, according to the suit. Mental health unit officers arrived, but only after hours of delay, the suit states.
An officer-involved shooting occurred and hours later, SWAT members, assisted by a K-9 team and remote controlled robots, entered the residence and found Honeycutt on a bedroom floor, the suit states.
“After being shot in the face, Honeycutt was bleeding profusely and in obvious and critical need of emergency medical care and treatment,” the suit states.
The LAPD waited too long to allow medical personnel to treat Honeycutt, the suit alleges.
“Rather, (they) waited hours …, thereby aggravating his injuries,” the suit states.
The suit concurs that Honeycutt committed suicide.
The Sylmar-born Honeycutt, 6 feet 8 and a small forward, played two seasons with UCLA. He was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft and played 24 games over two seasons with the team. He most recently played in Russia.
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