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Hector Leonardo Morejon, 19

Hector Leonardo Morejon (2015-04-23)

 Hector Leonardo Morejon, a 19-year-old Latino, was shot and killed by a Long Beach police officer Thursday, April 23, in the 1100 block of Hoffman Avenue, according to a news release from the Long Beach Police Department. 

Morejon was shot in a vacant apartment about 2:45 p.m. while officers were investigating a trespassing and vandalism complaint, according to the release. Officers found an open window in the back of the apartment and a broken window.

When one of the officers looked through the broken window, he saw a man standing next to a wall, police said. The man allegedly turned toward him "while bending his knees and extending his arm out as if pointing an object, which the officer perceived was a a gun."

The officer shot at the man, critically injuring Morejon, police said. Morejon was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:40 p.m.

Morejon lived near the shooting scene. His mother, Lucia Morejon, was at home when she heard the shots. She went out to see what happened and saw her son lying in an ambulance, the family's attorneys, R. Samuel Paz and Sonia Mercardo, told the Los Angeles Times.

"He propped himself up and said, 'Mommy, mommy, please come, please come,'" his attorneys said.

No weapons were found at the scene and no one else was injured, investigators said. 

The apartment was spray-painted with gang-related graffiti, according to the news release. The officers arrested two men, ages 20 and 21, and two women, both 22, on suspicion of trespassing.  

Morejon's family is calling for an independent investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into the killing.

On May 12, in response to a public records request from The Times, police identified the officer who shot Morejon as Jeffrey A. Meyer.  Meyer, who has been removed from field duties, is a veteran patrol officer who has been with the department since 1990.  Meyer was involved in a police shooting in March 2002, a police department spokeswoman said. The circumstances of the 2002 shooting were not immediately available.

-- Los Angeles Times Staff

Note: Law enforcement has placed Morejon’s autopsy on a so-called security hold. The Times will update this entry once the hold is lifted.

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