James Joseph Byrd, 45
James Joseph Byrd, a 45-year-old white man, was shot and killed by two Los Angeles Police officers Saturday, Oct. 3 near Sepulveda and Victory boulevards in Van Nuys, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
About 11:30 p,.m., two officers were stopped at a red light when the back window of their patrol car shattered. Fearing they were under fire, police said, the officers got out of the cruiser and fired their own guns at a nearby man they believed was responsible, killing him.
When investigators searched his body and the nearby scene, they didn’t find a gun or any other weapon. Instead, they determined he had shattered the patrol car’s window by throwing a 40-ounce beer bottle.
An attorney representing the officers previously told The Times that the pair had seen a video of a man flashing a gun behind an LAPD officer and had been warned that they might be ambushed from behind.
Attorney Gary Fullerton said the video was discussed in at least two roll call meetings that the officers attended, including one the same day as the shooting.
After the shooting, the officers told investigators they thought they were being attacked because of the video they had seen.
On Nov. 5, more than a month after the shooting, police identified the two officers involved as Zackary Goldstein and Andrew Hacoupian, both seven-year veterans of the department.
The same day, Los Angeles County coroner’s officials released Byrd’s identity.
Coroner’s officials spent weeks trying to track down Byrd’s family to notify them of his death, said Ed Winter, a spokesman for the office. Investigators were finally able to contact a cousin.
Cmdr. Andrew Smith, an LAPD spokesman, said that the department waited to release the officers’ names until investigators determined there were no credible threats against the officers’ safety.