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BWC: Robbery suspect jumps from balcony holding semi-automatic weapon before fatal OIS

The suspect dropped the firearm, later determined to be a ghost gun, while falling from the third floor but reached for it when he hit the ground

LAPD Balcony OIS

Officers recovered a semiautomatic ghost gun along with several loaded magazines at the scene.


By Joanna Putman

LOS ANGELES — Body camera footage released by the LAPD shows a man who jumped from a third-floor balcony holding an AK-47 before being fatally shot by officers.

The video was released as a part of a critical incident briefing on April 23. According to the briefing, the March 21 incident began when officers were investigating a string of armed robberies and obtained a search warrant for a suspect’s residence.

The detectives involved in the investigation also called in SWAT to aid in the search, as the robbery suspect was known to use semi-automatic weapons and wear body armor while committing the crimes, according to the briefing. After approaching the residence, officers made multiple attempts to contact the suspect via phone but were unsuccessful.

Officers then used a megaphone to announce their presence to the suspect and any other people inside the apartment. They instructed the suspect to come out with his hands up.

After several minutes passed without the suspect emerging from the apartment, the officers fired a less lethal foam launcher into the apartment to ensure he was awake, according to police.

Officers fired more less lethal rounds into the residence until contact was established with the suspect via phone, video shows. The suspect was informed of the search warrant, but hung up the phone as he was instructed to come out of the apartment.

After several minutes, the suspect was seen accessing the roof of the building. Moments later, he emerged onto the rear balcony holding an AK-47. He jumped down from the balcony, falling three stories and dropping the gun in the process. Surveillance footage clearly shows the suspect reaching for the gun when he hit the ground

After repeatedly instructing the suspect not to reach for the weapon, officers fired at the suspect, striking him and rendering him motionless, video shows. Because the suspect maintained possession of the firearm, officers approached him slowly behind a ballistic shield.

EMS personnel already at the scene administered aid to the suspect before transporting him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Officers recovered the suspect’s gun at the scene along with multiple magazines and body armor. The firearm was determined to be a ghost gun, police said.