By Erik Luna
A Hispanic man was shot and killed today by Monterey Park police officers at the Carl’s Jr. parking lot located near East Los Angeles College.
The unidentified man came into and out of the restaurant quickly, returning shortly thereafter carrying something that resembled a pipe and began breaking the restaurant’s windows. The man bashed-in windows from the outside of the restaurant, which caused customers and employees to rush out. He then went into the restaurant and started smashing more windows and doors. ELAC student Marina Rodriguez was in the vicinity when she heard the noise of glass crashing on the floor.
“I saw him swinging the object around and saw that he was breaking the windows. As soon as I saw this, I called 9-1-1 and they told me that police officers were already on their way,” Rodriguez said. According to Monterey Park Police Captain Eugene Harris, they were the first on the scene. Harris did not have any information on whether the man was a student at ELAC. Rodriguez said she recalled seeing the man carrying a gray JanSport backpack and that he was about six-feet tall.
She also said that the man appeared to be bald and was wearing a navy blue sweater. According to Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Homicide Bureau, the man was shot with a Taser which had no affect on him. The man then tried to swing at one of the officers, forcing them to shoot him. ELAC student Jimmy Aragon witnessed most of the events unfold and said that it looked like the Taser that was used on the man hit his sweater’s hood. The man then took the Tasers off and went for a police officer.
A video of the incident has been uploaded onto YouTube. The video shows two officers confronting the young man and the attempt the man made to swing at the officer. One officer is holding a K-9 unit police dog and then shoots the man at least six times. Once the other police officer gets out of harms way, he deploys his weapon and shoots at the man another five times.
To watch the video, click on the link. http://youtu.be/bY5ioBvrYIg
Lt. Bill Cuevas said most of the witnesses and employees were being held for questioning at the S2 building. Some of the witnesses ran off when shots were being fired. Monterey Park resident, Nick Escalante, heard the commotion and went to see what was happening. “It was just crazy. The guy started smashing everything and when the cops told him to stand down, he didn’t listen. They tried Tasing him, but it was no use. So when the guy tried to attack an officer, they shot him, around 10 times,” Escalante said.
Aragon went on to say that police surrounded the area around Carl’s Jr. and gave the man clear instructions to back down, but the man didn’t listen.
Harris said that the man was transported to L.A. County U.S.C. hospital. The man was later pronounced dead a short time after arriving, according to Hernandez. Witness, Jimmy Rivera, was waiting at Carl’s Jr. to go to his doctor’s appointment when he heard all the commotion. “I had heard that he had gotten into an argument with his teacher about a bad grade. People are saying that midterms are on right now,” Rivera said.
Investigators started their investigation of the restaurant shortly after 12:30 p.m. Upon further investigation, officers found a bullet hole on the window of Tommy’s restaurant, which is a block away. The bullet hit a neon sign causing debris to hit a young woman. The woman was transported to a hospital to make sure she was not injured, Hernandez said.
Carl’s Jr. will be closed until further notice and will remain closed until police have completed their investigation.
*Amanda Mayberry contributed to this article