• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Unarmed man slain in deputy-involved shooting

June 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A grieving family is demanding answers after sheriff's deputies shot and killed an apparently unarmed man in Bellflower.The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says when they received the call, there were reports of gunshots. Because of these reports, authorities say that deputies entered the situation assuming there was a gun.

Officers say that witnesses they interviewed at the scene also told them that they heard gunfire, but family members of the victim are refuting those accounts and still have a lot of questions about what happened.

"He did not deserve that. Whatever or whoever did that and whatever call was made, it should not have been that," said the victim's girlfriend Alberta Maxwell.

Wednesday at approximately 9:40 p.m., the sheriff's department says it received a call of shots fired in the back of an apartment building on Eucalyptus Avenue near Alondra Boulevard in Bellflower.

"I hear the gunshot and I looked out the window and I see a lot of cops just running from where their cars were with guns," said Christine Juarez, a witness.

When deputies arrived, they saw several people including 23-year-old Dexter Luckett. Officials say they told him to put his hands on the hood of the patrol car.

"Apparently, he did that and then quickly reached into his waist band. Our deputies yelled again, 'Put your hands on the radio car' to control the situation. He began to do that again, but again reached for his waist band but this time in the back," described Steve Whitmore of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriffs say they didn't know if he was reaching for a weapon and that's when they fired. He died at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.

Thursday, the family pointed out to Eyewitness News the location of where their son was shot. There are several bullet holes in the wall. Family members say he did not have a gun and they don't understand why this happened.

"He was in a corner. He can't go nowhere this way, he can't go nowhere that way," said Luckett's father Bobby Watkins. "Why are you shooting this unarmed individual?"

Sheriffs say that it does appear at this time that Luckett was indeed unarmed, and because this is a deputy-involved shooting and use of force, there will be four separate investigations.

"You're going to have the homicide bureau investigating this, you're going to have internal affairs looking at this. Overseeing the internal affairs will be the office of independent review. The district attorney is also looking at this," explained Whitmore.

No deputies were injured in this shooting and police have one suspect in custody. There are very few details about what this suspect and Luckett were doing Wednesday night before the deputy-involved shooting occurred.

L.A. County Sheriff's Department officials say their investigation will be completed in 90 days.


Load Comments