Southern California breaking news and trends

Man shot by LA sheriff's deputies identified


Screenshot via Google Maps

Authorities have identified a man fatally shot by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies after he grabbed a deputy's gun during a struggle.

A coroner's spokesman says 31-year-old Javier Ortiz of San Fernando died at the scene of the shooting Friday in Palmdale.

Sgt. Diane Hecht said the shooting came at the end of a pursuit by deputies searching for a man whose relatives said was acting violently. During the search, an off-duty police officer flagged down deputies and said he had been attacked by a man with a metal pipe.

Hecht said the suspect matched the description of the person they were looking for.

When deputies spotted the suspect and grabbed him as he tried to climb a wall. During the scuffle, Hecht said the man grabbed a deputy's gun but the deputy reached for a back-up weapon and fired at him.


LASD recalling 200 official-looking badges and identification cards

Sheriff Badge cudahy

Photo via U.S. attorney's office

The U.S. attorney's office released this photo it says was taken at a Cudahy night club showing an unidentified woman wearing Councilman Osvaldo Conde's sheriff's badge as she holds his gun in one hand and his bodyguard's in another. Conde was one of three Cudahy officials arrested last month on bribery charges.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is recalling about 200 official-looking badges and ID cards that were distributed to local politicians.

The faux credentials, handed over to people without law enforcement responsibilites, have the potential for abuse, say critics, who believe the items may have been rewards for political contributions.

Sheriff Lee Baca's decision to round up the badges comes only weeks after the FBI arrested three Cudahy officials on bribery charges.

The L.A. Times reports the move to recall was prompted by the release of a photograph showing a woman in Cudahy nightclub with two handguns, and wearing a councilman's badge.

LASD spokesman Steve Whitmore told the Times the timing is a coincidence, and said a 2007 state attorney general's warning is what prompted the recall.


SWAT standoff: Barricaded parolee shoots at parents, car, deputies

handgun recovered

Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Handgun recovered at the scene of an 8-hour standoff on Saturday, June 23, 2012.

An eight hour standoff between sheriff's deputies and an armed, barricaded parolee ended with an arrest and a trip to the hospital for the suspect who suffered non-life threatening injuries.

On Saturday a man and woman went to the Carson Sheriff's Station and told deputies their 31-year-old son had shot at them, at their car, and had locked himself in the house, LASD said in a release. The father suffered minor injuries to his foot. 

Deputies arriving at the 40 block of South Camelback in Carson asked the suspect to step outside, but he refused. Additional patrol deputies were called and soon after LASD Special Enforcement Bureau SWAT deputies and a K-9 and handler arrived to the scene.

Gunfire was heard periodically from inside the location and deputies took cover. Fragmented stucco was seen coming out of the exterior walls. No deputies were hit by gunfire during the standoff, and no deputies shot their firearms. 


Rocket launcher seized, children and puppies removed in LASD raids

rocket launcher

Photo via Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Rocket launcher, more weapons and suspected methamphetamine seized. Four gang members arrested by LASD OSS in Paramount, Long Beach, Compton.

A rocket launcher, body armor, ammunition, suspected methamphetamine, pit bull puppies and two children were discovered in a series of Southern California raids, say LA County sheriff's officials.

Suspected drugs and weapons were seized, the puppies were taken by animal control, and the children were removed and placed into the custody of child services on Wednesday, officials said in a release.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Arson Explosives detectives determined the AT-4 (Anti-Tank) rocket launcher was inoperable. The rocket launcher, which appears to be a military weapon, was designed to only be fired one time and cannot be reloaded. It lacks a serial number and therefore determining its origins may not be possible.

Operation Safe Streets (OSS) gang investigators assigned to Lakewood Sheriff’s Station developed information during an attempt murder incident which led to officials serving search warrants on eight locations -- one in Compton, one in Long Beach, six in Paramount.


Pair of possible lungs found on South L.A. street over the weekend

lungs xray

Photo by Yale Rosen via Flickr Creative Commons

Authorities say a woman found what appear to be a pair of lungs on a South L.A. street over the weekend.

While walking near a business in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County on Sunday, the woman came across the possible lungs, took a photograph, and contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Evidence was collected in the 13100 block of Avalon Boulevard. The coroner will be analyzing samples to determine if the discovery is in fact lungs, and if they once belonged to a human or an animal, Sgt. Pauline Panis told KPCC. 

It was the only call the department received about the organ, said Lt. Jack DeMello of the sheriff's Century Station, adding, "It was right there on the sidewalk at the start of a driveway...You'd think someone would see someone throw it out there."

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner