Homicide Report: 17 killings last week in L.A. County, four officer-involved shootings
Coroner's officials reported 17 killings in Los Angeles County between May 24 and early May 31, bringing the year-to-date total to 291, according to data collected for The Times' Homicide Report database. By this time last year 320 people had been killed in the county, with 388 killed in 2008.
Police officers shot and killed four people last week, incidents that meet the coroner's definition of homicide as death by the hand of another. Since January 2007, at least 128 people in Los Angeles County have been killed by police officers, according to data provided by the coroner and other authorities.Shortly before 1 a.m. on May 24, LAPD officers patrolling the Hollenbeck area saw Andrew Caprio, 42, speeding past them in a Mercedes-Benz 300E sedan, authorities said. According to police, Caprio was driving erratically. Believing that he was possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police officers attempted to stop him.
Instead of pulling over, officers said Caprio led them on a pursuit that continued through Los Angeles, South Pasadena, Monrovia and back into the city of Los Angeles. As he approached the Van Nuys Boulevard off-ramp in Sherman Oaks, Caprio struck a guard rail on a curve, spun out of control and hit another car, authorities said.
After the vehicles stopped, Caprio allegedly got out of his car holding a large knife, which he began to throw at one of the officers, according to police. An officer fired one round from his .40-caliber Glock service weapon and another officer fired a shot from a department-issued 12-gauge shotgun.
Caprio was hit by gunfire and taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:12 a.m., according to coroner's records.
Pouliot was wanted for a series of violent crimes throughout the area, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Department.Covina police officers, part of a multi-agency task force pursuing Pouliot, located him at a hotel about 3 p.m. on May 20. They set up a surveillance operation and observed him leave and enter a white pickup truck, according to sheriff's officials investigating the officer-involved shooting.
Pouliot saw the officers in their vehicle and, according to the Sheriff's Department, intentionally rammed his truck into the officers' vehicle. He then stepped out of the truck and allegedly pointed a handgun at the two officers. Subsequently, at least one officer shot Pouliot several times, sheriff's officials said. He was taken to a hospital, where he died six days later at the hospital.
On May 27, officers responded to "a call for service involving a man with a history of suicide threats" at a house in North Hills about 12:30 p.m., according to an LAPD news release.When officers arrived, family members directed them to Oscar Morales, 21, who was in the living room, police said. The officers approached Morales, who they described as initially cooperative. According to the LAPD account, he then suddenly grabbed a fireplace poker and came at them, allegedly refusing to drop the poker. At that point, one officer, shot Morales several times, according to an LAPD news release about the shooting.
Morales sustained several gunshot wounds and was taken to a hospital, where he died at 4:10 p.m., according to coroner’s records.
Later the same day, two gang unit officers in the Westlake area responded to a call about 7:40 p.m. and tried to stop Jose Flores, 19, who they believed was running from an alleged drug deal.
Police said the officers saw a handgun in Flores' hand, and he refused to drop the weapon. "That’s when the officer-involved shooting took place," said LAPD Officer April Harding.
Flores was pronounced dead at the scene, according to coroner's records. Police described Flores as a known gang member and parolee.
Additionally, at least two homicides from last week involved fights that escalated into shootings.
On May 27, Diego Frausto, 21, was at a residence in Arleta about 9:30 p.m. when he got into dispute and was shot, said LAPD Mission Det. Gene Parshall.
Authorities were called and Frausto was taken by paramedics to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, where he died the next morning at 4:52 a.m., according to coroner's records.
Witnesses to the altercation described the shooter as a Latino, 19- to 22-years old, Parshall said. No arrests have been made.
Montes was involved in an argument that led to him getting shot about 9:55 p.m., said LAPD Newton Det. Tommy Thompson.
Montes was taken to County-USC Medical Center, where he died at three hours later, according to coroner’s records.
No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting, Thompson said.
The Times' Homicide Report provides an interactive map and database of all homicides in Los Angeles County reported by the coroner since Jan. 1, 2007.
-- Sarah Ardalani
Map shows all the homicides in Los Angeles County for the week ending May 31. Source: Homicide Report
Photo: (above left) Alfred Pouliot. Courtesy of the Covina Police Department. (above right) Investigators gather in the North Hills neighborhood where Oscar Morales was shot. Credit: KTLA