News West Edition

Officers identified in Skid Row shooting

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department has released the names of a sergeant and two officers who discharged their firearms during the fatal shooting of a homeless man on Skid Row.

The sergeant was identified as Chand Syed and the officers as Francisco Martinez and Daniel Torres, according to the LAPD.

Other officers were at the scene, but did not fire their service weapons.

The March 1 killing of 43-year-old Charly Leundeu Keunang, a Cameroon national, drew international attention when a witness posted cell phone video of the shooting on Facebook.

Federal authorities have said Keunang was a convicted robber who was supposed to be deported, but was released from custody when Cameroon officials failed to cooperate with the deportation effort.

His killing prompted outrage from community groups that have protested police shootings in Los Angeles and across the country.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Eric Garcetti have called for patience as various investigations are conducted, including probes by the independent LAPD inspector general and the District Attorney’s Office.

Martinez, Torres and Syed — who were responding to simultaneous battery and robbery reports — have 24 years of combined service and no previous officer-involved shooting cases, according to the LAPD.

Beck said Keunang was violently struggling with police and grabbing at One officer’s holstered pistol, prompting the shooting.

Beck also said officers who approached the man acted “compassionately” toward him until he began reaching for the weapon.

“When police approached the suspect, he repeatedly refused to comply with officers’ commands and then began to fight with them,” he said.

Beck said the officers used stun guns “in an attempt to subdue the man, however, the Tasers appeared to have little effect and he continued to violently resist.”

Keunang died at the scene.

The officers were placed on leave, pending investigation, following the shooting.