Videos support officers' accounts of fatal South LA shootings, LAPD says staff via KABC logo
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
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LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said video backed the accounts given by officers in two separate officer-involved shootings in South Los Angeles over the weekend.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Video footage reviewed by investigators supported police officers' version of separate shootings that left two suspects dead in South Los Angeles over the weekend, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said.

Speaking at a news conference Monday morning at the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, Beck described the circumstances that led to officers fatally shooting 18-year-old Carnell Snell Jr. on Saturday afternoon and an unidentified man on Sunday afternoon.

Shortly before 12:50 p.m. Saturday, Metropolitan Division officers became suspicious when they spotted a light-blue Nissan Altima with paper license plates -- whose year did not match the vehicle -- in the area of 108th Street and Western Avenue, Beck said.

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Suspecting the Altima was possibly stolen, Beck said the officers began following the sedan.

A man, later identified as Snell, ducked down in the back seat and later exited the vehicle when it slowed down, according to the police chief.

Beck said the officers believed Snell may have been in possession of a gun because of the way he was holding his waistband. A foot pursuit of 200-to-300 yards ensued, during which the suspect allegedly held a firearm in his left hand.

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LAPD said Snell turned toward the pursuing officers in the 1700 block of 107th Street and an officer-involved shooting occurred. Police opened fire six times, striking the 18-year-old twice -- in his knee and torso, according to Beck.

Firefighter-paramedics pronounced Snell dead at the scene. LAPD investigators said a fully loaded, .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun was recovered less than 5 feet away from him.

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The officers were not equipped with body cameras, and the incident was not recorded by a dashboard camera, but Beck said footage from a local business showed the suspect with a gun in his left hand.

The weekend's second fatal officer-involved shooting took place after a citizen reported a man with a gun in the area of 48th Street and Ascot Avenue.

Newton Division officers said they observed a man matching the description of the man being sought at about 5 p.m.

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Police opened fire when the man turned toward them with an object in his hand and pointed it at them, Beck said. The unidentified individual was taken to the hospital, where he died.

A replica handgun was recovered at the scene, according to the police chief, adding that the muzzle's orange tip had been colored black.

Beck said he had reviewed police body-camera video from the encounter and that it matched the officers' narratives.

The footage also refuted allegations that the man was shot while he was lying on the ground, Beck said.

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"That did not happen," the police chief stated.

Anyone with information about the deceased man's identity was asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department.