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Checking In With KPCC Reporter Shot With Foam Round, And What We’ve Learned Since




Minutes after he was struck in the neck while covering a protest in Long Beach, our higher education reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez reported his own injury on social media.
Minutes after he was struck in the neck while covering a protest in Long Beach, our higher education reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez reported his own injury on social media.
(Adolfo Guzman-Lopez / LAist

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While covering a protest on May 31, KPCC/LAist reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez was shot in the neck with a 40mm foam round by a Long Beach Police Department officer. The incident drew international attention, but for weeks the circumstances have been unclear.

Now, Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna has provided an explanation to Guzman-Lopez: "It looks like you were inadvertently hit with a round that ricocheted either off something or somebody," he said in a meeting with Guzman-Lopez and other LAist journalists last week.

Two officers in the area fired their launchers within four seconds of one another, Luna said, shooting towards two men who'd thrown bottles at police.

"We will never know which one of those [officers] fired the round" that hit Guzman-Lopez, Luna said. The department has not released the names of the two officers; a spokesperson said it would only after an Internal Affairs investigation is completed.

No body camera or CCTV footage captured the round hitting Guzman-Lopez, Luna said. But an outside doctor and a police weapons scholar told LAist that the injuries are consistent with a ricocheted 40mm foam round.

Read more on LAist. You can also read Adolfo Guzman-Lopez’s personal account of the day here.

Guests:

Aaron Mendelson, investigative reporter at KPCC; he tweets @a_mendelson

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, reporter at KPCC; he tweets @AGuzmanLopez