Autopsy shows Los Angeles police shot man 3 times
Updated: 2014-12-30 10:24
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck speaks to the media after the Los Angeles County Coroner released an autopsy report on the LAPD's shooting of Ezell Ford in Los Angeles, California December 29, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
LOS ANGELES - An autopsy report released Monday on a 25-year-old black man killed in a confrontation with Los Angeles police appears to affirm initial statements by officers about the struggle that led to the close-range shooting, police said.
Ezell Ford was shot three times in his right side, right arm and back, according to the report that also says a muzzle imprint was found around the back wound and that Ford had abrasions to his left hand, forearm and elbow.
The report was disclosed after police initially ordered the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner to withhold the results for months to avoid tainting potential witness statements.
Ford was unarmed when police confronted him on Aug 11 on a street near his home. Police said officers tried to speak to him but got into a struggle with Ford and shot him when he tried to grab an officer's gun.
Police Chief Charlie Beck said officers reported that Ford attracted their attention with suspicious actions then knocked one officer to the ground.
Ford was atop the officer and grappling for the officers' holstered weapon when his partner fired two shots and the fallen officer pulled a backup gun and shot Ford in the back, according to an account read by Beck on Monday.
Beck said officers told investigators it was a violent struggle in which "the (downed) officer drew his backup gun and reached over Mr. Ford's back and shot Mr. Ford in very close proximity, possibility, probably the cause of the muzzle imprint mentioned in the coroner's report."
He said the muzzle imprint was consistent with the type of weapon used by the officer, and that the other weapon was a semi-automatic pistol that probably wouldn't leave the same kind of mark.
The LAPD previously identified the two gang officers involved as Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas.