Disturbing body camera footage shows police officer unleash a fury of bullets at an armed criminal and his hostage, killing both the criminal and the innocent woman.
Los Angeles, CA — Los Angeles police released graphic body camera footage this week, showing officers opening fire on a man armed with a knife who’d taken a 49-year-old woman hostage. In the shooting, police killed both the man with the knife, and the innocent hostage.
According to a 911 recording, officers were called to the scene on June 16, after a woman reported that a man had stabbed someone at her location. When officers arrived, they found Guillermo Perez, 32, who had just stabbed his ex-girlfriend with a knife.
When officers confronted Perez, he held a chair as a shield and a large knife. As officers yelled for Perez to drop the knife, he did not comply.
At this point, officers opened fire on Perez with bean bag rounds, according to LAPD chief Michel Moore. However, the chair shielded him from the blasts.
“He moved away from officers and grabbed an innocent bystander who was standing nearby. Perez began to cut the innocent bystander’s throat with a knife. That’s when three officers shot at Perez to stop his actions and prevent him from killing the hostage,” the chief said.
When Perez grabbed the innocent bystander, 49-year-old Elizabeth Tollison, officers unleashed a torrent of gunfire. In total, officers fired 18 rounds, several of which struck Tollison, killing her.
As ABC 7 reports,
Moore said there’s much more work to be done in the investigation before he is able to provide recommendations on the actions of the officers involved. The investigation will look into whether proper procedures were followed.
The chief said it’s been 13 years since an officer’s gunfire killed an innocent bystander or hostage.
“The life of the hostage is paramount and protecting that individual from the threat of the assailant, and in doing that, the balancing act that the officer has – is how to protect them by stopping the suspect’s actions,” Moore said. “This was a tense situation that unfolded very quickly. It’s every officer’s worst nightmare.”
According to police, Perez had a violent past and was recently released from prison after being convicted of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and domestic violence.