Los Angeles police released video footage this week concerning a fatal officer-involved shooting that occurred in Sherman Oaks on Oct. 16, with the dead man a murder and robbery suspect who officers were trying to find.
Video from the encounter shows Lazzeri Frazzier, 21, of Los Angeles on the ground wounded with a gun next to his head after being surrounded by officers from the Gang and Narcotics Division.
On that day, plainclothes detectives, wearing vests that said “police” on them, were doing surveillance in the 5400 block of Kester Avenue, searching for Frazzier, who they suspected of murder and robbery.
Once they spotted him, they called for backup, Los Angeles police Capt. Gisselle Espinoza says in a video describing the incident.
At about 10:20 a.m., Frazzier walked northbound in front of an apartment complex on Kester, and officers tried to stop him at Burbank Boulevard.
“Frazzier ran south on Kester Avenue, away from the uniformed officers who chased after him broadcasting that (he) was armed with a gun,” Espinoza said.
WARNING: The following footage contains graphic images.
A gang and narcotics detective, wearing a vest that said “police,” stopped and got out of his unmarked vehicle.
“Frazzier ran towards him and that’s when the officer-involved shooting occurred,” she said.
Video from a news station shows detectives pointing guns at the suspect and at least three rounds could be heard.
Espinoza adds that only patrol officers in uniform were wearing body-worn cameras.
The officers who fired at the suspect were apparently the plainclothes ones.
“Officers assigned to (the Gang and Narcotics Division) do not wear body-worn cameras, therefore there is not any video footage from the officers involved in this shooting,” Espinoza said.
The video released by police was recorded by the body-worn cameras of backup officers in uniform.
“He still has the gun in his hand!” one officer shouts on the video during the incident.
As a shirtless and shoeless Frazzier, on the ground and with a red bandana around his neck and with a backpack, stops moving, officers approach – still pointing their weapons. They turn him over to find the weapon, later determined to be a loaded .380 semi-automatic handgun.
Espinoza said investigators determined Frazzier fired a round during the incident after finding an impact mark on the sidewalk and a .380 caliber casing. They also found live ammunition next to him.
The area where the shooting happened is where Frazzier was suspected of shooting a maintenance worker – Antonio Rodriguez, 52, as he stood outside an apartment building on Burbank Boulevard two days before and left him for dead. And the area is near a liquor store he was accused of robbing the day before.
The investigation into the officer-involved shooting is on-going. Once completed, it will be forwarded to the police chief, who will make a recommendation to the Board of Police Commissioners.
“The board will evaluate the evidence to determine whether the officers’ tactics, drawing and exhibiting of a weapon and use of deadly force in this instance met the high standards expected of all LAPD officers,” said Josh Rubenstein, a LAPD spokesman.
The Office of the Inspector General and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office also will do their own investigations.