A man who nearby residents knew as “Africa” was shot and killed during a confrontation with LAPD officers on skid row this weekend. No other gun was found on the scene, and it is still unclear if he was in possession of any other weapons, though none have been identified. The officers involved were part of a special task force that regularly works on skid row, and were responding to reports of a robbery.
It’s unclear if the man was a possible suspect or if the confrontation started over a tent (which may have been violation of a city ordinance), but shortly after making contact with Africa, things became violent. A cell phone video of the incident (warning, it contains profanity and shows officers opening fire), shows a brief struggle between the man and officers before at least five shots are fired by two officers and a sergeant as the man was on the ground. A taser was used, but a police representative said it was “ineffective.”
Cmdr. Andrew Smith told reporters that the man began “fighting and physically resisting the officers.” He said, "At some point in there, a struggle over one of the officer's weapons occurred," and several witnesses told reporters that the man reached for an officer’s gun (though accounts have differed). At one point in the video, an officer can be heard yelling, "Drop the gun. Drop the gun." A nearby woman, who picked up a nightstick dropped during the altercation, was handcuffed. Investigators are currently interviewing more witnesses and looking into other possible videos of the incident ... Discuss
Last night, police in Berkeley, Missouri—just a few miles from Ferguson—shot and killed a black teen, who police officials say pulled a handgun on an officer. The county police told Buzzfeed News (warning, some of the reports from the scene contain strong language) that the confrontation happened at about 11:30 p.m. while the officer was doing his routine checks of local businesses. They say when he approached two individuals standing near the building, the 18-year-old pulled out a handgun, which was recovered on the scene. Word of the shooting soon spread, and dozens gathered near the scene where there were further confrontations and fighting with law enforcement, some of whom were in riot gear. There were also reports of vandalism and possible looting at a nearby convenience store. At this point, more details about the shooting—and the availability of security camera footage—have not been released ... Discuss
The man who executed two police officers in Brooklyn this weekend, bragged about “what I'm going to do" on Instagram before walking up to a squad car and murdering two uniformed police officers. In social media posts leading up to the shooting, Ismaaiyl Brinsley also insinuated that his actions were vengeance for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michal Brown. Brinsley shot himself moments after the murder. The 28-year-old had an extensive criminal record, and before the tragic murder of the officers, he shot and wounded an ex-girlfriend. According to a report from the AP, Brinsley has also showed signs of mental instability, and had once attempted to hang himself.
At an appearance following the shooting, Eric Garner’s mother said, "I'm standing here in sorrow about losing those two police officers … These two police officers lost their lives senselessly and our condolence to the family and we stand with the families." Across New York City, residents participated in a candle light vigil for Officer Wenjian Liu and Officer Rafael Ramos. In a statement, President Obama said, “Two brave men won’t be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification. The officers who serve and protect our communities risk their own safety for ours every single day—and they deserve our respect and gratitude every single day” ... Discuss
One person was killed and two others injured yesterday when a 26-year-old named Aaron Ybarra opened fire on students at Seattle Pacific University. Authorities say Ybarra is not a student at the Christian college, which was first founded as a seminary. According to a report in The Seattle Times, the gunman was pepper sprayed and tackled by a student working as a building security monitor when he stopped to reload his shotgun.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee said students "put themselves in real danger to protect classmates from further violence and to aid and comfort the victims ...Those selfless and brave acts should remind us of the indomitable spirit of young people," he said."
Ybarra has been taken into custody, while police are still trying to determine a motive ... Discuss
Claire Davis, the 17-year-old Arapahoe High School student who was shot by a classmate on Dec. 13, has died at the hospital. Davis appeared to be a random victim, being shot by a fellow classmate moments before the gunman took his own life. In a statement, her parents said that they continue to pray for the community, and remember their daughter and the impact she made on the lives of her family and friends. “The grace, laughter and light she brought to this world will not be extinguished by her death; to the contrary, it will only get stronger" ... Discuss