A home invader who tried to run from Los Angeles police was killed in a hail of bullets earlier this week — including some shots fired from a helicopter.
According to KTLA-TV, it was the first time specially trained SWAT shooters have fired from a helicopter in Los Angeles.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the sequence of events that would lead to the death of the 29-year-old man began Monday morning, when a woman in the city’s Sunland neighborhood said she woke up to a home invasion.
She escaped from the house and called police, which was the start of a five-hour standoff between the suspect and the LAPD.
Even though officers implored the man to surrender via a bullhorn, he kept himself holed up in the house with a gun stolen from the residents.
Making things worse, the house was on a hill and the surrounding brush and debris made the building a “very difficult location” for SWAT officers, according to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
“The suspect definitely had high ground at all of the ground officers, was firing indiscriminately at them — and actually fired at the helicopter, we believe,” Beck told the Los Angeles Times.
The Times reported that “(e)xperts have said such shootings are justified only in the most desperate situations and when other tactics might be more dangerous.”
Beck said this situation definitely fit the bill.
“When the geography and the circumstances dictate, we want to make sure that it’s available. That’s exactly what happened in this instance,” Beck said.
At 2:45 p.m., officers fired tear gas into the house to drive the home invader out.
When the man ran out of the house shooting, cops opened fire on him — including from the helicopter.
The man was shot and killed, his body rolling down a ravine. Police said an autopsy would show whether he was hit by bullets from the helicopter, police on the ground or both, but Beck said it was likely some fire from the helicopter. The man’s name hasn’t been released, as his family has not yet been notified.
When you mess with police, the police tend to win. That’s a lesson this suspect learned the hard way — and it was the last lesson he would ever learn.
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