LOS FELIZ—An unarmed man was shot in the head by police officers in Los Feliz on June 19 at approximately 6:35 p.m. He was listed in critical condition.
The man has been identified as Walter DeLeon, a resident of the area and a father of two.
DeLeon was allegedly attempting to flag down a patrol car during rush hour by waving his arm wrapped in a towel. The officers believed that he had a gun at the time and ordered him to drop the weapon. A shot was fired by one of the officers when DeLeon did not obey the officer’s orders.
Andrew Smith of LAPD stated, “At some point he approached their car, held his hands together and pointed his hands at our officers.” He continued, “They ordered him to comply and he refused to comply with their orders, and an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
The officers then handcuffed DeLeon while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. He was transported to a hospital where he was treated for the injuries he sustained.
The incident took place between Los Feliz Boulevard and Tica Drive.
Traffic was heavy in the area as police officers shut down Los Feliz Boulevard for investigation purposes.
Suicide-by-cop is one theory LAPD detectives have as to why DeLeon would flag down the officers.
DeLeon’s 18-year-old son was shocked when he had first learned about the incident. He stated, “At first, I thought it was like a random person that did it. Then I found out it was the cops. I didn’t understand why, because I know my dad wouldn’t do anything to provoke it.”
The incident has brought traffic to social media. People have shared their thoughts and allegations about the shooting via Twitter posts.
The shooting has left many shocked and confused, but others believe the entire incident is just an appropriate “procedure.”
ThirtySecInjury of Twitter wrote, “He approached the cops for help because he injured his arm, and when he raised his arm to show them they opened fire.”
Attention has been brought to the fact that the suspect was handcuffed after being shot.
While some people believe that handcuffing a dead person is inhumane and suspicious, others, including @CasperShafer of Twitter say “it’s standard policy to handcuff any suspect no matter their condition.”
A passerby captured a graphic video of the incident and shared it via Twitter.
The officers and the injured man in the video appear to be White.