Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch
LA Police Protective League


Los Angeles
Police Protective League
the union that represents the
rank and file LAPD officers

  Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch

Daily News Digest
from LA Police Protective League

June 13, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Three Killed, Four Wounded In Shooting At Boyle Heights Warehouse Party
Three people were killed and four others wounded in a shooting early Sunday at a warehouse party in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles police said. Officers received a call about 12:30 a.m. from someone requesting help for a friend who had been shot in the 1400 block of South Lorena Street, said LAPD Officer Luis Garcia. When officers arrived, they discovered three males who had been shot, he said. A fourth victim was later discovered. In all, LAPD Det. Frank Carrillo said, three people were killed and four others were taken to a hospital. “Some are stable, some aren't so stable,” he said. Two of the victims' bodies remained in the warehouse Sunday afternoon as detectives gathered evidence. Carrillo said the weapons used in the shooting were semiautomatic. He also noted that an invite for the party had circulated on social media. Local rapper MoneySign $uede performed at the party earlier in the evening, according to reports. The artist offered condolences in an Instagram post Sunday. Los Angeles Times

Man Shot Dead At Van Nuys Gas Station
A 31-year-old man was shot dead Saturday during a possibly gang-related shooting at a gas station in Van Nuys, authorities said. The victim was identified as Rene Hernandez of Panorama City, the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Division reported. Officers dispatched at 1:20 a.m. to a report of a shooting in the 7200 block of Woodman Avenue, near Sherman Way, found Hernandez in a parking lot suffering from gunshot wounds. Arriving paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. Police said Hernandez had gone to a gas station, where he was approached by a suspect who fired multiple shots at him, ran to a nearby pickup truck and fled the location. Detectives believe the homicide was gang-related.  FOX 11

Los Angeles Lures Police Officer Recruits With Rent Subsidies
The cost of living is so exorbitant in Los Angeles that officials are trying to lure new police officers there with a rent subsidy to patch a hole of 662 vacancies. The Los Angeles Police Department, which has seen a mass exodus of officers amid the "defund the police" movement and progressive laws stripping them of enforcement powers, had 9,352 sworn officers as of May 7, compared to 10,014 in September 2017, said Dennis Zine, a retired LAPD sergeant and city councilman. He is currently co-chairman of the campaign to recall George Gascon, the city's liberal district attorney. “We had ‘defund the police,' then Black Lives Matter jumped in saying, ‘We don't need the police,'” Zine told the  Washington Examiner . “The whole focus was to turn this into a social experiment. Police officers need respect, and that went out the window. So why would I want to be a police officer and get shot at? It doesn't pay.” And nowhere is that more apparent than Los Angeles, which has a cost of living 43% higher than the national average. The biggest factor is housing, which is 127% higher than the rest of the United States, reported.  Washington Examiner

9 People Hit By Pickup In Westlake Area, 1 Seriously Injured
An investigation was underway to determine why a truck veered onto a sidewalk and hit nine people Saturday in the Westlake community of Los Angeles. One adult was seriously injured. A black 2001 Ford F-150 truck was heading westbound on Wilshire Boulevard, near MacArthur Park, when the vehicle went on the sidewalk at about 8:35 a.m., crashing into several street vendors and pedestrians, including two children, at the northeast corner of Wilshire and Alvarado Street, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Firefighters and paramedics were dispatched at 8:36 a.m. to 647 S. Alvarado St. The driver, passenger, one male pedestrian, three female pedestrians, an 8-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy were taken to local hospitals, police said. Fire authorities said one adult was seriously injured. “It was originally reported that a firearm was pointed at the driver by an unknown male. However, after further interviews with the driver and witnesses, no firearm was ever seen,” according to an LAPD statement. “The investigation also revealed there were no signs of impairment or other related crimes.” Los Angeles Daily News

Pursuit Driver Dies After Violent Crash In Sherman Oaks
The California Highway Patrol was in pursuit of a vehicle in the San Fernando Valley late Saturday night when it ended in a violent crash in Sherman Oaks. According to Sgt. Steve Geraty with the CHP's West Valley Division, the pursuit began when officers tried to stop the driver of the 1998 Honda Accord for speeding on the 210 Freeway. "The vehicle fled at a very high rate of speed – up to 117 miles per hour," Geraty said. It is unknown why the driver was traveling so quickly. CHP officers followed the silver colored Honda through the southbound 405 Freeway starting around 10:07 p.m., with the pursuit driver at one point travelling in the wrong way on the 118 Freeway, according to the CHP. An LAPD airship "arrived overhead and began monitoring the location of the vehicle" while it was traveling the wrong way on that freeway, the CHP said. After exiting on Woodley and traveling southbound on the 118 on the correct side of the freeway, "a passenger got out of the vehicle and fled," according to the CHP. Officers were still searching for that passenger after the pursuit ended. The driver then traveled on the 405 and eventually went into the parking structure of a Target store on Sepulveda Boulevard, where he was seen calmly walking away from the store. The man was then seen running around the streets and reentering the parking structure. NBC 4

LAPD Tracks Source Of Mass Shooting Threat That Raised Alarm In Downtown LA
Los Angeles police tracked the source of an online threat that raised alarm this week in downtown Los Angeles. The threat made on social media warned of a mass shooting in the area, where leaders from several nations, including President Biden, gathered for the Summit of the Americas. The threat was posted Tuesday and circulated Wednesday, police said. "We looked into it, and there was no credible threat," LAPD Sgt. Bruce Borihanh told City News Service. The threat warned of a mass shooting planned for Thursday. The Los Angeles Times reported that the threat was traced to a person with mental health issues. No arrested were reported. Law enforcement was already on heightened alert in downtown Los Angeles for the three-day Summit of the Americas at the LA Convention Center. The summit wraps up Friday. NBC 4

Cellphone Video Captures 65-Year-Old Man Attacked By 2 Suspects In Reseda Parking Lot
A Reseda man suffered serious injury Thursday after a couple, who accused him of hitting their car, followed him from a shopping center parking lot and later attacked him. The incident was captured on video by a witness, and now the family of the victim is hoping the video will help police track down the two suspects. "They could have killed my dad on the spot. Two feet to the left and my dad would have hit that wall. My dad would not be here right now," the victim's daughter, Shavahn Church, told CBSLA. What started as a typical trip to the Victory and Tampa Shopping Center, on Victory Boulevard in Reseda, turned out to be anything, but typical. Church said when he dad parked his car in the lot, a man and woman pulled up next to him and accused him of hitting their car, something her father said he didn't do. "They got out of the car, start slamming on my dad's window. My dad is like, 'Oh, this is scary. Maybe I should get out of here,'" she told CBSLA. Church said her dad thought the suspects left. He checked his car over to make sure there wasn't any damage and walked to get something to eat. That's when the suspects returned.  CBS 2

Stolen LAFD Ambulance Crashes In Panorama City
A Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance was stolen and then crashed during a pursuit early Sunday morning. The ambulance was stolen around 2:10 a.m. just minutes after it arrived at a hospital in Sherman Oaks, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The Los Angeles Police Department was informed of the stolen ambulance which was tracked down to Panorama City where police gave chase. Officers pursued the vehicle for a short time before the ambulance ultimately crashed into two vehicles and slammed into a pole on the 14500 block of West Chase Street. Police say two women who were in the civilian vehicles were injured and taken to the hospital. The severity of their injuries is unclear at this time. The driver of the stolen ambulance was arrested at the scene and booked into the Van Nuys Jail. Their identity has not yet been released. Officials said no police or fire personnel were injured during the pursuit. KTLA 5

Man Found Stabbed To Death Near Los Angeles River In Paramount
A stabbing investigation was underway in Paramount early Friday morning after a man was found stabbed to death near the Los Angeles River. After receiving reports of the incident just before 5:30 a.m., Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies arriving to the scene located near Somerset Boulevard and San Jose Avenue found a man suspected to be in his 30s suffering from what multiple stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity has been withheld pending notification of next of kin. "At this time, it is unknown what led to the incident. There is no suspect or suspect vehicle description at this time," LASD said in a press release. They were initially called to the scene following reports of a vehicle hitting a pedestrian. Anyone with additional information was urged to contact the LASD Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.  CBS 2

Ex-TSA Officer Pleads Guilty To Attempt To Smuggle Meth At LAX For $8,000
A former Transportation Security Administration officer pleaded guilty Friday to smuggling what he believed was methamphetamine through Los Angeles International Airport in exchange for $8,000. Michael Williams, 39, of Hawthorne, entered his plea to one federal count of attempting to distribute methamphetamine, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars, prosecutors said. Sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 4. The defendant was arrested in 2020 after authorities conducted undercover operations involving Williams, whom they suspected of helping smuggle narcotics past security checkpoints at LAX. During the investigation, Williams allegedly met with a drug source to exchange methamphetamine in the days prior leading up to his shifts at LAX, court papers show. As a TSA employee with unscreened access to LAX, Williams twice agreed to deliver what he thought was methamphetamine in a backpack to the drug source's accomplice in a men's restroom on the secure side of the airport terminal, federal prosecutors allege. After taking possession of what he believed were real narcotics, Williams allegedly transported an unscreened package containing the fake methamphetamine beyond the TSA screening area and delivered the package. The person who accepted the package, who Williams did not know was a federal agent, on both occasions exchanged $4,000 in cash in the restroom stalls, prosecutors stated. NBC 4

Retired Texas Truck Driver Charged In 1993 California Killing
A retired truck driver from Texas has been charged with killing a woman whose body was found along a freeway onramp in a Southern California desert nearly 30 years ago, prosecutors said. Cold-case investigators used advances in DNA technology to link Douglas Thomas to the 1993 killing of Sherri Herrera, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office said in a statement. Thomas is in custody in Titus County, Texas, awaiting trial for separate slaying in that state in 1992. The 67-year-old was charged with Herrera's murder on Friday in Riverside, California, the DA's statement said. The murder count was filed with a special circumstance allegation that the killing occurred during the commission of a rape, prosecutors said. It wasn't known Sunday if Thomas has an attorney. When the Texas case concludes, he will be extradited to California to be tried in Herrera's killing. Herrera, a 30-year-old mother of four from Tulare, California, was found dead on March 30, 1993 on an eastbound onramp to Interstate 10 near Desert Center in Riverside County. FOX 11

Deputy Killed Responding To Domestic Call; Suspect Arrested After Manhunt
A former police officer suspected of killing a Mississippi police officer who was responding to a call about domestic violence has been arrested, authorities said Friday. Dante Marquez Bender, 31, was taken into custody the day after Meridian Police Officer Kennis Croom was fatally shot while answering a call, authorities said. A woman believed to be Bender's girlfriend or fiance, Brittany Jones, also was found dead at the scene where Croom was shot, authorities said. “This whole incident is tragic and senseless,” Meridian Police Chief Deborah Naylor-Young told a news conference. Croom was the first officer to respond to a call about a disturbance at a residence on Thursday afternoon and informed a dispatcher “he had one at gunpoint,” she said. Soon after he reported that shots were being fired, according to Naylor-Young. A second officer arrived to find Croom on the ground and Bender gone, she said. Officers went inside and found Jones dead, according to Naylor-Jones. Associated Press

Public Safety News

Crews Put Out Fire In Occupied Commercial Building In Downtown
LA Crews put out fire at a building in downtown Los Angeles Sunday in just under an hour, while some residents were still inside, according to officials. Over 100 Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters responded to the scene at 722-1/2 S. San Pedro St. around 5:19 p.m. Sunday. The building, a two-story building, has residences above one floor of commercial storefronts. One firefighter suffered a minor injury and no occupants were injured. Firefighters cut holes in the roof of the building for ventilation while crews firefighting and search and rescue crews entered the building. The fire was knocked down in just 53 minutes.  FOX 11

Firefighters Rescue Injured Woman Hiking From Griffith Park
Firefighters with the Los Angles Fire Department rescued a female hiker who suffered an unspecified "lower extremity" injury at Griffith Park. The call came in at 6:45 a.m. Sunday, according to Nicholas Prange, a spokesperson with the LAFD. The woman was lifted onto a helicopter and then flown to a hospital, Prange added. Her condition is currently unknown.  CBS 2

LA County Identifies 2 More Probable Cases Of Monkeypox, Bringing Region's Total To 4
Los Angeles County health officials Friday announced two more presumed cases of monkeypox, bringing the local total to four. Like the previous cases, the new patients are both showing symptoms but are "doing well" and are in isolation. Both also had a recent travel history. No other details of the patients have been released. One of the cases has been confirmed as monkeypox by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the county was still awaiting confirmation on the other three. County health officials again insisted that "the risk of monkeypox in the general population remains very low." The infection can cause lesser symptoms such as fever and body aches before developing into a rash that spreads across the body. Since monkeypox cases are usually more common in African nations, its appearance in the United States and more than a dozen other countries has generated headlines, particularly among a populace weary of the COVID-19 pandemic. But health officials insist COVID is far more infectious than monkeypox. ABC 7

L.A. County Coronavirus Cases, Hospitalizations Rising Again, Dashing Hopes Surge Has Crested
Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are increasing in Los Angeles County, dashing hopes that the nation's most populous county had turned the corner in the latest Omicron wave. What appeared to be a possible flattening or decrease in cases may have just been a result of a lag in case reporting over the Memorial Day holiday, and it's possible that transmission increased from gatherings over that weekend. “The earlier decrease was likely related to lower testing over the Memorial Day holiday, while the subsequent increase may be related to increased spread associated with travel and gatherings during the long holiday weekend and as we head into summer,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday. L.A. County is averaging about 5,100 coronavirus cases a day for the weekly period that ended Friday; that's up 20% from the prior week. On a per capita basis, L.A. County is recording 350 new coronavirus cases a week for every 100,000 residents; a rate of 100 or more is considered a high rate of transmission. There were 6.4 new coronavirus-positive hospitalizations per week for every 100,000 residents, which is up 21% over the previous week. The current figure places L.A. County in the medium COVID-19 community level as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; once the rate of new weekly hospitalizations hits 10 or more, a county is reclassified as being in a high COVID-19 community level. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

L.A. On The Record: City Hall Braces For Round 2
On election night, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez had reason to be pleased — or at least a bit relieved. Four of the five councilmembers who were seeking reelection were leading their opponents by significant margins — Curren Price, Monica Rodriguez, Bob Blumenfield and Gil Cedillo. Price, Rodriguez and Blumenfield were quickly declared winners. At the end of the week, Cedillo continued to hold a lead over community activist Eunisses Hernandez, outpacing her 52% to 48% — although with so many ballots left to count, he is not yet out of the woods. Martinez, who led the 15-member body throughout the tumultuous COVID-19 era, had been keenly aware of the public's dissatisfaction with the city's handling of homelessness and other issues, telling one network that the public's mood had reached a “boiling point.” “I've never seen a more angrier electorate than this particular election,” she told CNN's Ronald Brownstein, in a  segment that aired  on the eve of the election. The region's political consultants were drawing similar conclusions, saying voter frustration was putting incumbents in danger. Los Angeles Times

About the LAPPL - Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents the more than 9,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education. The LAPPL can be found on the Web at: