LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has determined that a local sheriff’s deputy was justified in fatally shooting a 62-year-old man last year after responding to a family disturbance call in Lancaster.
A nine-page memorandum on the Oct. 30, 2019 shooting death of Ricardo Myers concluded that Deputy Jonathan Lee “acted lawfully in defense of another.”
According to the report, the mother of Myers’ son initially called a psychiatric emergency team (PET) to try to have Myers evaluated but was told she needed to call 9-1-1 after she informed them that Myers was “agitated.” Responding LASD deputies Jonathan Lee and Miguel Gonzalez were not informed of any possible mental health issues.
Myers swung an ax toward Deputy Lee, who retreated and ordered him to drop the weapon. Myers then began to raise the ax and step closer to Deputy Gonzalez, and that’s when Deputy Lee discharged his service weapon five times, killing Myers, according to the report.
Read the “Factual Analysis” portion of the report below:
On October 30, 2019, at approximately 6:28 a.m., Betty R. called 9-1-1 and reported that her “kid’s father,” 62-year-old Ricardo Myers, “Keeps saying he needs mental health, but he’s not – he isn’t doing anything about it.” Betty R. reported that Myers was, “Disrupting the house.” When asked what she wanted the police to do, Betty R. stated, “I need them to come out and assess him because he needs mental health.” Betty R. informed dispatch that there were no weapons in the home.
Dispatch put out the call to deputies stating, “Children’s father, male 62, arguing with family, no weapons…”LASD deputies Jonathan Lee and Miguel Gonzalez responded to the Lancaster residence at approximately 6:58 a.m. Both deputies were wearing distinctive LASD uniforms and were equipped with Tasers.
Lee knocked on the front door of the residence and Myers’ adult son, Vincent, invited the deputies inside. When the deputies entered the home, Betty R. and Myers were near the entryway to the dining room and kitchen area. Myers walked through the kitchen and entered the garage. Gonzalez spoke with Betty R. near the dining room table, and Lee removed the flashlight from his duty belt and walked toward the garage to contact Myers.
Lee opened the garage door, and Myers was a few feet in front of him walking toward the open vehicle door. Lee stood in the doorway between the kitchen and garage and asked, “What’s going on?” Myers turned around, bent down, and grabbed a yellow handle that was protruding from underneath a makeshift bed on the garage floor. Myers pulled out a large axe and said, “Want some of this motherf–ker?” Myers took a step toward Lee and swung the axe at him. Lee backed up, and the axe came within inches of hitting him and struck the garage door. As Lee retreated into the kitchen, he dropped his flashlight on the floor and drew his service weapon. Lee continued backing up, and Myers entered the kitchen with the axe in his hands.
Gonzalez drew his service weapon, pointed it at Myers, and ordered him to drop the axe. Lee continued retreating backward toward the dining room table while ordering Myers to, “Put it down!” Lee broadcasted over his radio that he was detaining an armed suspect and needed backup. Lee then radioed, “Suspect is unco-op. He’s got a knife in his hands. Put it down! Put it down!” Myers continued to hold the axe and walked toward the deputies. Gonzalez and Lee were now standing on opposite sides of the dining room table. Myers advanced toward them and stopped in the small area between the kitchen and dining room. A brief standoff ensued, and Myers yelled profanities at the deputies and stated, “You better shoot me motherf–ker!” and “Go ahead and shoot me!”
Gonzalez holstered his service weapon, drew his Taser, and pointed it at Myers while ordering him to drop the axe. Betty R. and Vincent yelled at the deputies, telling them not to shoot Myers. Vincent yelled, “Tase him!” Myers was approximately four to five feet away from Gonzalez when he began to raise the axe and take a step toward Gonzalez. At that time, Lee discharged his service weapon five times. Three rounds struck Myers, and he fell backward to the floor. Lee radioed that the suspect was down. 4 Paramedics from the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to the scene and pronounced Myers dead at 7:12 a.m.”
View the entire report at: https://da.lacounty.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/JSID-OIS-10-09-2020-Myers.pdf
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