LAPD: Suspect wounded in officer-involved shooting grabbed officer's Taser

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An alleged vandalism suspect was shot and critically wounded by police in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood of Los Angeles Thursday after he grabbed an officer's Taser and used it on the officer, police said.

Two police officers with the Los Angeles Police Department's Wilshire Division responded to a report of a man breaking storefront windows with a skateboard near the area of 8th Street and La Brea Avenue at about 8:40 a.m. Upon their arrival, the suspect fled the scene on a skateboard.

The two officers caught up with the suspect in the 800 block of Sycamore Avenue, after the suspect jumped off or fell off his skateboard.

They attempted to subdue the suspect, but he refused to comply with their verbal commands. One of the two officers deployed a Taser and pressed it against the man's body, but it didn't appear to have any effect on him.

The suspect then allegedly grabbed an officer's Taser and injured one of the officers in the leg. The officer alerted his partner, who then shot the suspect.

"At some point during the struggle, the suspect was able to gain control of the Taser, turned it against one of the officers and use it again in the direct contact mode on the officer's leg. That officer alerted the partner that they were being tased," LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. "The partner officer, while still struggling with the suspect, drew his weapon and an officer-involved shooting occurred."

The suspect did not use a skateboard as a weapon during the altercation as earlier reports indicated.

The suspect was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in critical condition. Both officers were injured during the altercation. One officer suffered a burn mark on his leg, which was consistent with the close contact use of a Taser, police said, and the other suffered minor injuries.

"The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Departments use-of-force policy, which states that an officer's use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable," the LAPD said in a press release.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Force Investigation Division at (213) 486-5230.
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