By Gary Walker
An officer-involved shooting near a homeless encampment around the Mar Vista-Culver City border resulted in the the death of a man police say was armed.
The early afternoon shooting on Jan. 11 was the third such incident that has occurred near the homeless camp under the 405 Freeway, and the first to involve a police officer.
“The suspect appears to be a transient. However, we are not sure what area he frequented,” said Los Angeles Police Capt. Steve Embrich of the LAPD’s Pacific Division.
The shooting is being investigated by the department’s Force Investigation Division, which handles all use of deadly force cases.
The identity and age of the suspect was not immediately available.
Pacific Division officers arrived at Venice Boulevard and Tuller Avenue at approximately 12:44 p.m. after hearing a radio call about a man with a gun, according to the LAPD Twitter feed.
A supervisor was the first officer at the scene and made contact with the suspect, who was a Latino male, said LAPD Officer Mike Lopez.
“Upon arrival, they located the suspect and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” said Embrich.
Lopez said the suspect was shot at least once and rushed to a local hospital, where he later died.
Embrich said officers believe the suspect was homeless but were not sure if he resided in the nearby encampment.
In July 2018, video surveillance captured the image of a man shooting into another homeless encampment near Venice Boulevard and Globe Avenue, west of the Jan. 11 shooting. A suspect was later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Police are still searching for the shooter in an April 1 drive-by shooting where one man in that encampment was struck in the shoulder.
In addition to the shootings, nearby residents and business owners have complained of frequent drug dealing and needles scattered along sidewalks near the encampment.