LAPD releases names of officers involved in Ezell Ford shooting

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Department released Thursday the names of the two gang officers involved in the fatal shooting of Ezell Ford.

Officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas were identified. Both were assigned to the Newton Division gang enforcement detail during the incident that took place on Aug. 11 in South Los Angeles.

Officials have previously said the officers were making an investigative stop, when Ford, 25, grabbed an officer and tried to take the officer's gun. But some witnesses questioned that account. Family members say Ford was mentally challenged and harmless.

The shooting has since prompted protests questioning the use of excessive force.

"In this particular case, it was necessary to investigate evidence brought to the Department's attention regarding potential threats to the safety of the officers and ensure that measures were taken to mitigate those threats," the LAPD released in a statement.

Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.