LOS FELIZ —Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) identified the unarmed man involved in the police shooting on Friday as Walter William DeLeon, 48. Officer Mike Lopez released the name of the man shot. DeLeon, 48, was shot after flagging down two uniformed LAPD officers near Los Feliz Boulevard and Tica Drive. It has not been confirmed whether or not DeLeon is from the Los Angeles area.
A statement issued by the LAPD, states that DeLeon approached two uniformed officers waving his hand wrapped in a gray cloth. The officers immediately exited their vehicles and ordered DeLeon to drop the gun. DeLeon failed to comply and was shot. He is currently in critical condition. No gun was recovered.
News of the shooting quickly spread, with a video shot by a mobile phone being posted to social media. The video shows DeLeon being handcuffed by two Los Angeles’ officers after being shot. The back of his head was bleeding. LAPD ensures that this is standard procedure in this type of situation. DeLeon was, at that point, considered a suspect and had to be searched.
The two officers involved were removed from the field pending a 72-hour briefing period. Officer Lopez confirmed that DeLeon was unarmed at the time of the shooting. It is still unclear as to why DeLeon’s hand was wrapped in a towel and why he was flagging down the police.
The Force Investigation Unit is conducting an investigation which will be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Board of Police Commissioners to ensure that the ”use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.”
DeLeon was taken to a nearby hospital where he remains in critical condition. The LAPD is still investigating.