Frank Dario Lopez, 48
Frank Dario Lopez, a 48-year-old Latino, was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy on Sunday, Dec. 10, in the 11900 block of Droxford Street in Artesia, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were called to the residential neighborhood shortly after 9 p.m. regarding a man in an SUV looking into parked vehicles, said Lt. Joe Mendoza. Callers said the man was driving erratically and was parking his car on the lawn of a house.
The man eventually parked his car in a vacant lot and walked into the neighborhood, Mendoza said. A deputy searching for the suspicious person found Lopez hiding behind trash cans between two houses, he said.
The deputy asked Lopez to come out, Mendoza said, “and he became uncooperative. He approached the deputy and physically attacked him. The deputy was alone at that time and called for assistance.”
During the fight, the deputy tried to use a taser on Lopez without success. Two other deputies arrived, and saw that Lopez was trying to stab the first deputy with a knife, Mendoza said.
When the two other deputies tried to intervene, Lopez lashed out at them with the knife, and one of them received minor cuts on the hand, Mendoza said.
The deputy who first found Lopez was stabbed in the hands, Mendoza said, and it was during his struggle that he shot Lopez.
The two injured deputies and Lopez were all taken to a hospital, Mendoza said.
Lopez was pronounced dead at 10:13 p.m. with gunshot wounds to the chest, according to coroner’s records. The deputies were treated and released.
Authorities have conflicting information about Lopez’s age and residence, because he used more than one date of birth, Mendoza said. He had family living in Artesia, Mendoza said, but investigators believe he lived in Hemet and was born on Aug. 16, 1968. Coroner’s records list Lopez’s last city of residence as Placentia and his date of birth as April 2, 1969.
Mendoza said investigators found an open pocket knife at the scene of the shooting. They are waiting for toxicology results to see if drugs had a role in Lopez's behavior.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wanting to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.