SHERMAN OAKS—On May 24, a man was fatally shot by police after injuring an officer, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The man, identified as 42-year-old Andrew Caprio of Torrance, had reportedly led police on a vehicle pursuit from Downtown Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley until he crashed his car on the 101 Freeway and exited from the wrecked vehicle with a large knife.
The incident occurred at around 1 a.m., when Officer Carlos Ayala, a 13-year, 7-month veteran of LAPD, was patrolling the Hollenbeck Area with his partner when they spotted Caprio driving a Mercedes Benz 300E Sedan, driving erratically at a high rate of speed and violating several traffic laws. Suspecting that Caprio may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Officer Ayala and his partner attempted to make a traffic stop and investigate; however, Caprio did not cooperate and led the officers on a vehicle chase through Los Angeles, South Pasadena, Monrovia, and back into Los Angeles.
Towards the end of the chase, Caprio drove westbound on the 100 Freeway. As he drove towards the Van Nuys Boulevard off-ramp, Caprio failed to steer through a curve in the freeway and struck the guard rail, causing his vehicle to spin out of control. Caprio then struck the center divider and another vehicle, and both cars eventually came to a halt in the fast lane of the freeway next to the Van Nuys Boulevard off-ramp.
Ayala and his partner stationed their car near Caprio’s, accompanied by a back-up unit consisting of two other officers. As the four officers exited their vehicles, Caprio also got out of his vehicle wielding a large knife. Caprio reportedly threw the weapon at Ayala, who simultaneously fired one round from a Department 12-gauge shotgun while one of the accompanying officers fired a shot from his 0.40 Glock duty weapon.
Ayala had suffered an injury from Caprio’s weapon as he had attempted to block the knife’s impact. The officer was hospitalized for the injury and later released. Caprio, who had been struck by the gunfire, was also taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.
The incident is under investigation.