The Los Angeles Police Department released a graphic video on Monday involving an altercation in July that left the suspect dead and officer injured during a routine traffic stop.
Los Angeles Times reports that a July 28 traffic stop led an unidentified female officer to the car of a suspect later identified as Richard Mendoza, 32, a reported gang member on probation. The officer, who apparently recognized asked Mendoza if he “had anything” on him before she opened the driver’s side door. The suspect pulled out a .380-caliber handgun and started firing, striking the officer in the leg.
The incident happened at the Mission Hills area in San Fernando Valley at around 10:15 p.m.
The female officer fell to the ground after the suspect shot at her at close-point range. Her partner, a male officer, immediately fired back, striking Mendoza. The suspect shot the female officer in the leg but authorities said she’s now in stable condition.
“By the grace of God she is alive,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. “Officers are fearful in these situations and the public here gets to see why.
Mendoza was struck numerous times in the head and torso. He later died at a local hospital.
According to LAPD Capt. Patricia Sandoval, the male officer who shot Mendoza was identified as Miguel Alarcon of the Mission Division. Authorities declined to identify the female officer due to the “confidentiality protection as a victim of a violent crime.”
LAPD’s Force Investigation Division continues to investigate the incident.
WARNING: Video Contains Graphic Content
[Feature Photo: LAPD/Screenshot]