Police kill pipe-wielding assailant in Carl’s Jr. parking lot

SMASH, CRASH, BANG—A man busts out the windows of the Carl's Jr. on Collegian Avenue causing the police to come and handle the situation. CN/Bryan Pedroza


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

SHOCKED—ELAC student and eyewitness Jimmy Aragon explains to the news media detailed information on what happened inside the Carl’s Jr. restaurant pointing out where the suspect was shot by a Taser. CN/Bryan Pedroza

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

DOWN THE STREET—A stray bullet fired by the police reached Tommy’s Restaurant, which is located .13 of a mile from the crime scene. Debris from a neon sign located inside the restaurant injured an innocent bystander. CN/Bryan Pedroza
AFTERMATH—Crime lab personnel confirmed over eight bullet casings in the parking lot of the scene of the crime. Cups were placed next to bullet casings. Inside the circle of cups was the Taser used by police. CN/Bryan Pedroza

This article has 12 Comments

  1. In what world is 11 shots necessary to disable someone? That’s the question that needs to be asked. The intent was to kill, not disable. Is that protocol? Is that okay?

  2. Police are needed to maintain an orderly society, but this is ridiculous.

    Before you go off, my father is a retired police officer. I understand what it is like. But, ten shots (i counted ten in the video) is absurd. This article says he tried to “take a swing” at the officer. I grant you, his motion was menacing but it was nowhere near taking a swing.

    The first officer took five shots to stop an aggressive action. While five may be many, he probably wasnt counting, he was just trying to prevent a violent act against his co-worker, which, as police officers they are in their right to do. However, the “threatened” officer, had absolutely no reason to draw his gun and fire five more shots. The suspect was down.

    This whole thing could have been handled so much better.

  3. 10 times i mean really come on a little excessive dont ya think…could of shot the guy in the legs or somthing or tackled the guy point blank 5 times to the chest and 5 in the back really really these cops need to get fired!!!

  4. They didn’t need to kill the guy. I mean, obviously the guy had problems and had to have been on drugs, but they could’ve shot him in the leg or released the police dog on him. 10 times is excessive. These cops need to be reprimanded, unfortunately because our system is so corrupt they probably WON’T!!!!

  5. reality the officers did their job, yea they exaggerated but assault on a officer meaning they have the right to kill you even if they shot him 10 times.. i see no purpose in all those bullets but sending a dog was too dangerous especially with a man with a weapon on him…its like sending an officer to attack him….not safe

  6. This is a clear case of POLICE OVER REACTION. Its a sad day when a K-9 officer values the life of a dog over the life of a disturbed human. The dog is trained to attack agitated or hostile threats. Worst case the dog would have been struck by the assailant. This officer should be fired and committed to a insane asylum. What was his thought process? Pepper Spray, Shoot legs? No wait, I know empty my gun in him even when he is on the ground!!! There I did it I finally have a story for my grand kids!!!!!! Our thoughts and prayers go to the family of the VICTIM who lost his life to some one who was even sicker then he was!

    1. This is absurd, the victim, really? Smashing windows at 9:30 in the morning is a plausible idea?
      He needed to be shot down, do we want people like that in our society? That’s natural selection, weaving out the really, really stupid people.
      Also, that dog will do so much more good than the suspect would ever do in his limited years.

  7. and why is the manager from carls jr in the video they said he was not working that day he was outside taking pictures during the shooting he should have had his fat self in the restaurant and stop making stupid remarks about the shooting .that was someone son brother friend

  8. Sadly this is what happens when politics overruns tactic. A K9 Officer in Monterey Park Police Dept as well as his partner were first on the scene. The suspect, now deceased, was wielding a tire-iron. His intent was to cause damage and from the looks of thing, suicide by cop. But getting back to the officer’s tactics, he had his pistol in one hand and the canine in the other. Should the officer release the dog? With a pipe, he could have killed the dog and then the officer still would have shot the suspect. So what else could the officer had done? Use his baton. But politically a no-no.

    Granted, the officer’s life were in danger. Assault with a deadly weapon is a felony and the suspect had the intent to do harm. In a split-second decision, the officer pulled out his firearm, aimed it at the suspect, ordered him to drop the pipe.The suspect then went for the officer’s partner and the K9 Officer shot him 10 times. Five times, ceased to assess the situation and he felt that their lives were in danger and five more times, and the officer felt that their lives weren’t at risk. The suspect was then handcuffed and taken to the hospital.

    Now the politics.
    Here is the intent

    Why couldn’t the officers use their PR-24? Because doing so would be the biggest S-storm in the City of Monterey Park history. Since the Rodney King case, and because the City of Los Angeles was embarrassed by their lack of training in the swarm technique, the PR-24 was essentially banned in Los Angeles, and now Monterey Park. In the State of California. So what does one do? Use a pistol. And because of tax cuts, a beanbag gun or rubber bullets would have taken down the suspect and he’d be alive today.

    So if your resources are limited by what the Republicans in the city/county, state or fed give, then you use the only resources you have. Your pistol.

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