A story for every victim

Christian Chavez Avelar, 40

Christian Chavez Avelar, a 40-year-old Latino, was shot and killed by police on Monday, Nov. 27, in the 2700 block of Illinois Avenue in South Gate, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

The previous day, Avelar hit his live-in girlfriend with a handgun and ran away, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza said. 

The assault sent his girlfriend to the hospital, Mendoza said, and South Gate Police officers got a warrant for Avelar’s arrest. The following evening, the girlfriend returned home and called police, saying she thought Avelar was in the area. 

Officers spotted Avelar sitting inside his parked truck around 7:30 p.m. in the 2700 block of Illinois Avenue, a few blocks from his home, Mendoza said. 

Footage of the standoff and shooting from ABC7 News shows that Avelar was parked next to the playground of Stanford Avenue Elementary School.

Police tried to get Avelar to get out of the car and called him on his cellphone, “but he was not cooperative,” Mendoza said. “He didn’t want to speak to anybody.” 

Huntington Park Police came to assist, Mendoza said, and the officers tried shooting bean bags, tear gas and flash bangs at the vehicle to get Avelar to come out.

None of the efforts was successful, Mendoza said, and at 10:41 p.m., Avelar, who was still inside his truck, began shooting at police.

Five South Gate officers and one Huntington Park officer fired at Avelar, who was struck multiple times by gunfire, Mendoza said. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:15 p.m., according to coroner’s records.

No officers were injured in the shooting, Mendoza said. 

Investigators found a handgun inside Avelar’s truck. Ballistics tests will be performed to confirm whether it was fired. 

“According to all accounts and the physical evidence, yes, it appears the gun was fired, but we won’t know for certain until we get the test results back,” he said. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

Share a memory or thought about Christian Chavez Avelar

Before you post, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Remember, all posts are approved by a Times staffer. Profanity and personal attacks will not be approved.