Monterey Park Police Fatally Shoot Man Outside Carl’s Jr. [UPDATED]

By EGP News Report

Monterey Park police shot and killed a man outside the Carls Jr. fast food restaurant near East Los Angeles College Monday morning.

On Tuesday the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office identified the man as 22-year old Steven Rodriguez.

Four police officers responded to a call around 9:30 am Monday reporting that an adult male was breaking windows at the fast food restaurant on Cesar Chavez Avenue.

When police arrived, several patrons ran out of the restaurant, followed by the man brandishing a three-foot long metal bar, according to Monterey Park Police and the Sheriff’s Department.

The man did not listen when officers ordered him several times to drop the pipe, and an attempt to use a Taser stun gun on him produced no effect, said authorities.

He then approached one of the police officers, swinging the metal bar twice at him. He was subsequently shot by another police officer, who was “fearing for their safety,” according to a Sheriff’s report. Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A video posted by a witness on YouTube shows the man wielding the pipe being shot eight times by a police officer.

Witnesses say the unidentified man appeared to be in his 20s or 30s. In the video he was seen carrying a blue backpack.

A college student from San Bernardino County who wished to remain anonymous, said he was the person who recorded the shooting incident. He says he is not a student at East Los Angeles College, which is located near the scene of the incident.

He told EGP on Tuesday that he was motivated to upload the video onto YouTube under the pseudonym CaptainSanjeezy because it would provide a record of what happened.

“We live in a society where it is their [the police’s] word versus us, and the cop is always right,” he said, adding that he personally feels the number of times Rodriguez was shot was excessive.

He says he believed the police officers had been using rubber pellets when he first posted the video. When he learned that his video showed someone dying, he considered taking it down, but changed his mind after reading news reports that were written based on the Sheriff’s accounts.

He said the first few shots may have seemed justified, but additional shots could have been avoided because Rodriguez no longer seemed like a threat at that point.

“This shows the truth of what happened and how easily it could have been, if there wasn’t a video, a five minute news story, and the cops would be heroes, with nothing much after that,” he said.

Lieutenant Jeff Alvarado told EGP on Monday that Monterey Park police officers are trained to tell a suspect to drop a weapon, but if a weapon is pointed toward a police officer, then an officer “fearing for his life, will use deadly force to take down the suspect.”

Monterey Park Police have handed over the investigation to the Sheriff’s homicide bureau. The case is also being looked into by the Los Angeles County District Attorney who will determine if the shooting was “within policy.”

According to Alvarado, the district attorney has made a preliminary determination that the shooting was justified. The district attorney’s office did not respond to EGP’s request for verification of that finding.

Sheriff’s Lieutenant Kimberly Unland said it could be some time before the investigation is wrapped up and a final determination is made about what happened.

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January 24, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

Comments

16 Responses to “Monterey Park Police Fatally Shoot Man Outside Carl’s Jr. [UPDATED]”

  1. Benny Vazquez on January 24th, 2012 5:17 am

    Being a police officer is a hard job… That said .. It takes a special type of person to properly protect & serve… In my opinion he did use excessive force… Why not let the dog take him down.. or when the victim turned his attention to his partner try & subdue him… Even a club too the leg… Being that there was plenty of space them. Their were orther operations or orther tactics he could have used. His partners life was not in danger. A life was lost due to poor officer selection. And any panel or group of people that say orther wise shouldn’t be in that position…..

  2. sheena r. on January 24th, 2012 5:26 am

    Incidents like this occur when authority is put into the wrong hands. The deputies in charge of the situation had the opportunity use other means of physical force, rather than “deadly force”. Was the officer responsible for the killing actually fearing for his life, or was he just inexperienced and trigger-happy? I don’t believe that a lead pipe can be lethal on first strike, and therefore in my opinion it is quite incomparable to the harm of a bullet–or several bullets in this case. My conclusion is that the killing of this man was NOT in response to fearing for one’s own life, nor the lives of the innocent. It was simply an act of cowardice, which could have been a little more bravely and responsibly resolved.

  3. hec on January 24th, 2012 6:46 am

    sad but justified. condolences to his family

  4. Tower Records on January 24th, 2012 11:51 am

    Sheena R.

    1. We’re watched a cell-phone video recording the tragic incident through a rain-soaked window. We can’t clearly see the perpetrator’s face, specifically eyes which would show sign of being under the influence.

    2. The police officer pepper sprayed or tasered him at arm’s length and he had no reaction.

    3. Watch the officer flee back, and see his fearful reaction (body language)

    4. A lead pipe can kill with one blow. A blow to the head/neck areas is sufficient enough to kill someone.

    It’s an act of cowardice b/c anyone of us put in the situation the officers were in, we be fearful too.

  5. George on January 24th, 2012 12:39 pm

    I love how the guys filming are saying an ambulance should be called to help the suspect. Let the guy die. He was breaking car windows with a lead pipe. Hello, he is not a valuable member to society. So the victims then have to file a insurance claim, because you know this scumbag doesn’t have the money to pay for the damage he caused. Then the victims insurance rates go up. So they get scrwed either way. One less dirtbag on this planet. By the way, who cares if this is a Hispanic owned publication. Crazy racist Hispanics.

  6. Pancho on January 24th, 2012 1:11 pm

    Its easy to say what they should have done or how to better handle this situation. Fact is that there is no pause and rewind button in life. It was not a lead pipe, it appeared to be a pick ax of some sort. Ice ax is what it looks like to me(google it). That officer had about 2 seconds to react ; release the dog, which he was holding with one hand, Holster his weapon, grab his baton and then swing it, or grab his taser (which was already ineffective once) and aim for a good flesh shot. He did what he was trained to do, Protect his partners(dog included) and his life. Believe it or not those K-9′s are treated like honorary officers. As a gunshot survivor (Iraq Vet) I took one in my left outer thigh, clean in and out. It did not knock me down, I skipped and kept running for about another 15 seconds(full combat load). In this video we cannot see the suspect after he is initially shot, he probably made another threatening gesture or pulled a gun.

    Bottom line
    Tragic yes. Glad those Officers get to go home to their family at the end of the day.

  7. sheena r. on January 24th, 2012 2:10 pm

    @benny vasquez, you are the only person here that I agree with. All officers undergo the same training and selective process, but occasionally there will be a bad apple in the bunch that gets by. Officers can be heroes, but they are also very capable of repetitively making highly questionable decisions that will of course bring a sense of doubt, anger, and disappointment to the public spectator.

    Law enforcement should not collectively be viewed in admiration.

  8. xiomara on January 25th, 2012 3:04 am

    POLICE BRUTALITY TAKING THE LIVES OF OUR BROWN AND BLACK BROTHERS.

    This man was clearly unstable, why not release the dog before discharging your gun? They report he died at the hospital, but it looks to me like they just left him die there on the ground. No paramedics, no help. Look at this man’s last moments, with some rookie cop just standing over him as he takes his last breath. So sad. My thoughts are with the Rodriguez family.
    CANDLE LIGHT VIGIL —THURSDAY 1/26/12 5:30PM AT CARL’S JR.— SAY NO TO POLICE BRUTALITY!!

  9. Robert G on January 25th, 2012 9:10 am

    Yes this could have been handled differently. The suspect could have put the weapon down when instructed to. But he chose poorly. But on the upside they did save the city the cost of a trial and years of paying for his free room and board in prison.

  10. Mahar abdelghani on January 25th, 2012 6:03 pm

    It was a metal bar in his hands, not a gun, this is the special training police have to protect them selves, and it’s sad all they know is a trigger alot of people get attacked with out guns and they manage to get out of the situation. Cop does not equal gun it should mean he stand for and by the law and grow some mother fucking balls or quit, stop shooting people.

  11. claudia on January 27th, 2012 3:06 pm

    Robert G, so then why not just kill all the other people that have trials and are in prison. They dont deserve life, why should we waste our money on that casey Anthony, on that Anaheim man who killed homeless,,those are truly the ones that dont deserve life if you want to be so judgemental. Lets kill the rapist and childmolestors or the DUIS while your at it. The guy could had been mad or on drugs like many others that commit poor decisions in life but for vandalism you pay with your life. Your family must be so perfect since you judge easily of those that make poor decisions in life. I hope you see the pain in the parents before you judge a kid that was killed by cops for an act of windows.

  12. julio on January 27th, 2012 5:07 pm

    police assassins! satanic laws! fuc… illuminati

  13. El Grande on February 6th, 2012 8:35 pm

    It is a widely known fact the Monterey Park PD is a poorly trained, reactionary, group of thugs.

    Good thing they are being investigated by an equally unprofessional Sheriff’s department.

  14. Mike on February 13th, 2012 5:14 pm

    Release the dog! Don’t shoot me bro

  15. Red Hawk on April 5th, 2013 8:30 pm

    Those who think this was a justified Murder are wrong as the cops who shot the young Fool. Property means nothing Compared to a Human Life. Cost of a Trial or even the cost to WareHouse Humans as we do in CA. The person who said ‘through a rainy window and Cell phone can tell Steven Rodriguez only raised his arm. The cops are cowards and were not close enough to take a blow. So no REAL threat to life was there. I can tell that much from what I saw.If the Guy never videoed the Murder the cops would have called the FAT cop and his buddy heros. PLUS the cops are trained. But MOST ARE TOO SCARED to take an ass whoopin. The news Media has not done enough to address this murder. Are they together on beating down THE PEOPLE. Ask the citizens of MPK most say they ( cops ) are real jerks. They are not Supervised well and this will not stop. Keep your Video Cams rolling

  16. Jake on May 18th, 2013 10:26 am

    Have those cops been arrested and sent to prison? Can’t believe we still have these problems in 2012!!

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