SHERMAN OAKS—Liza Stazel, is a the mother of former UCLA and Sacramento Kings basketball player Tyler Honeycutt, she is now suing the city of Los Angeles for claims of negligence and wrongful death.
On July 6, 2018 Los Angeles Police Department received a call stating Honeycutt was suffering from mental illness. He was barricaded in his Sherman Oaks home for 11 hours.
“Upon arrival officers set up containment around the residence and made contact with Honeycutt, verbally and over the telephone. During the incident, Honeycutt fired at the officers, resulting in an Officer-Involved Shooting (OIS). At the time of the OIS it was unknown if Honeycutt had been struck by the officer’s gunfire,” stated the Los Angeles Police Department in a press release.
The LAPD reported that the shootout began in Sherman Oaks at about 5 p.m. on July 6, 2018. According to the LAPD Twitter account, members of the LAPD Swat team entered Honeycutt’s house and pronounced him dead at about 3:43 a.m.
Honeycutt’s mom claimed her son had a psychotic break. “I need somebody quickly. The police, an ambulance, whatever. My son’s having a psychotic break. He has guns in the house so I’m really worried,” said Honeycutt’s mother in the audio.
“You need to hurry because I’m afraid he’s going to pull a gun himself,” Honeycutt’s mother added. After officer’s arrived on the scene, Tyler mother stated, “He’s got the gun out now, he’s holding it in his hand sitting on the bed.”
When asked by officers about why Honeycutt was acting erratic, Honeycutt’s mother responded, “To be honest with you he’s a professional basketball player that just came back from overseas and he was sucking laughing gas for six months, overseas, and I think it scrambled his brain. He’s not sleeping, he’s not eating.”
Officers attempted to build a rapport with Honeycutt several times via cellphone to no success. One of the officers can be heard saying, “Hey Tyler. Hey, I’m the cat that’s outside…um, I’ve been waving at you, trying to talk to you. Alright…right now you’re not in trouble. Alright? We just want to– you haven’t committed a crime as of yet. Okay? I’m trying to get you out of here as peacefully as possible. Is there any way you can help me out with that?”
In the video, officers attempted to get Honeycutt to lay down the gun that he was holding that was visible from a window they were observing at the athlete’s home.
Honeycutt fired the weapon at officers through a glass window, but missed and hit a wall instead. Officers could be heard screaming, “Shots fired!” Officers returned fire, but lost communication with Honeycutt. After authorities entered the home, Honeycutt was incapacitated. He was later pronounced dead.
Stazel is suing the city of Los Angeles because she believes LAPD failed to de-escalate the situation and did not provide immediate medical attention to Honeycutt.
Honeycutt played for the UCLA basketball team from 2009-2011. During this time, he made the Pac-12 first team his sophomore year with averages of 12 points and 7 rebounds. He averaged 10 points and 7 rebounds during his career as a Bruin.
In 2011, Honeycutt entered the NBA after being drafted the 35 pick by the Sacramento Kings. He played in 24 games from 2011 to 2013, before leaving to join the Israeli League and later the EuroLeague.
Written By Maydeen Merino and Casey Jacobs