LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Police Department plans to release body-worn camera footage and radio calls from a fatal police shooting of a 19-year-old man who was holding what turned out to be an Airsoft rifle on Saturday, Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday.
The victim was later identified as Luis Herrera of Los Angeles. The California Attorney General’s office is investigating the shooting.
Officers were called at about 1:20 p.m. Saturday to a home at Grand Avenue and 102nd Street on a report of a domestic violence incident. Moore told the Board of Police Commissioners that Herrera emerged from the front door as officers approached the front porch, holding “what appeared to be a black assault rifle.”
According to Moore, the officers gave verbal commands for Herrera to drop the weapon, but Herrera refused to comply, shouldered the weapon and pointed it directly at the officers — at which point the officers fatally shot Herrera.
Airsoft rifles fire plastic pellets and are non-lethal.
Herrera fell to the ground holding the Airsoft rifle and was handcuffed. Moore said officers later determined the weapon was an Airsoft rifle “manufactured to replicate an assault rifle.”
Moore said radio calls indicated that Herrera called police regarding a domestic violence incident, and that Herrera’s father was reportedly under the influence.
Herrera’s father, Vicente Herrera, told the Los Angeles Times the family dispute began when his son struck one of his dogs. He said that after police arrived, he was surprised when his son came out of the house holding the Airsoft rifle. He also said he informed officers at the scene that the gun was a toy.
“I shouted, `That’s a fake gun, it’s a fake gun, don’t shoot him,”‘ he told the paper. “But they shot him six times. They never told him, `Put the weapon down’ or nothing.”