PALMDALE – A Palmdale man who was killed in his garage three months ago by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies was shot 11 times, and all but one of the bullets entered the back side of his body, according to a copy of the autopsy report obtained by The AV Times.
Darrell Logan Jr., 32, was shot five times in the back, once in the back of the head, once in the buttocks, twice in the back of the legs and once in the right hand during the Oct. 13, 2011 incident, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Autopsy Report. A “thru-and-thru” bullet to the left knee was labeled as “unknown direction,” according to the report.
“Why would you shoot him in the back?” said Logan’s mother, Arzenia Ratliff. “Because he wasn’t listening to your commands? That’s not fair!”
According to a Sheriff’s press report, released the day of the shooting, Palmdale Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to Logan’s home in the 3100 block of Heather Avenue in Palmdale after receiving a call about gunfire coming from the residence. The report states deputies made “verbal commands for the occupants to exit the garage. The suspect refused to exit.”
“When deputies entered the garage they were confronted by the armed suspect and a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” the Sheriff’s report states. “The 32-year old male suspect [Logan] was struck and transported to a local hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead.”
No deputies were injured and a handgun was recovered at the scene, according to the report.
According to the coroner’s narrative, Sheriff’s detectives requested gunshot residue, hair and finger nail evidence from Logan’s body shortly after the incident.
Logan’s wife, Krystle Washington, who was at home during the incident, said Logan fired a gun once in the air; but she says this happened before deputies arrived. Read her story here.
Logan’s mother, Arzenia Ratliff, said she spoke to the man who was inside the garage with Logan when deputies forced entry.
“The witness is telling me that my son’s hands were up the whole time, he had no weapon, he had no gun at all…” Ratliff said. “From my knowledge, if they found a gun, it was much much later.”
Ratliff, who ordered the autopsy report about six weeks ago and received it Saturday, said she believes the autopsy proves that her son’s shooting was unjustified.
“It tells me that my son was mostly shot in the back,” Ratliff said. “And then he got shot in his right hand, and he is right handed. That tells me that maybe he didn’t have a gun in his hand.”
The coroner’s autopsy report describes each of the 11 bullet wounds, and how each projectile traveled from back to front in Logan’s body. Five of the gunshot wounds were listed as fatal, one as potentially fatal, and the rest as non-fatal, according to the report. Of the five fatal shots, two bullets entered the back area and exited the chest area; one entered the mid back and was recovered from Logan’s body; one bullet entered the back and exited the abdomen; and one bullet entered the right buttocks, penetrating the right kidney, liver, and lower lung, according to the report. The bullet to the back of Logan’s head was listed as potentially fatal and the remaining gunshot wounds throughout the back of Logan’s body were listed as nonfatal.
Despite repeated requests for comment, officials have said little about the deputy-involved shooting to The AV Times, citing ongoing investigations involving the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau, and attorneys from the Los Angeles Office of Independent Review (OIR).
At a town hall meeting Nov. 28, 2011 in Lancaster, Sheriff’s Commander, Anthony La Berge, said the investigation could take several months, and a final conclusion would be made by the District Attorney’s Office on whether there was criminal intent on the part of the Sheriff’s Department.
“We just can’t discuss it right now until the investigation is completely and thoroughly done and the DA’s office has a chance to review it, analyze it and make their final determination,” La Berge said at the meeting. Read more on that meeting here.
Logan’s mother has retained an attorney and is pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department.
“I’m not going to stop,” said Ratliff. “I would like to see the Sheriff’s Department use different tactics when they’re trying to arrest or subdue someone. There’s teargas, rubber bullets, bean bags, dogs, negotiation and swat. They could have even called me, because I could have talked my son out of all this.”
The coroner’s autopsy was conducted by Deputy Medical Examiner, Dr. Kevin Young, and witnessed by Sgt. J. Frendendall of the Sheriff’s Department and investigator Gregory Frum of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. View the Autopsy Report here.