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Long Beach police identify officer who killed knife-wielding man in December

The Long Beach Police Department has identified the officer who shot and killed 39-year-old Mharloun Verdejo Saycon inside a game arcade on Dec. 14, 2015. 

Saycon was allegedly holding a knife that he refused to put down when he was shot by patrol Officer Vuong Nguyen, a 14-year veteran of the force. 

The department's investigation into the shooting is ongoing, said Sgt. Byron Blair. 

Nguyen has returned to his patrol duties, Blair said. According to the department's online officer involved shooting investigation process, "before returning to duty, the involved officer must visit and be cleared by a psychologist to ensure that he or she is mentally prepared and fit to return to full duty."

Five people have been killed by Long Beach police officers over the past 12 months. The department identified Nguyen on March 22, after The Times filed a request under the California Public Records Act. 

As with all officer-involved shootings in Long Beach, the department's Homicide Detail is investigating the incident. Once the investigation is complete, its findings will be turned over to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office to decide whether criminal charges are warranted. 

Information from the investigation will also be provided to Long Beach's Shooting Review Board, a five-person panel that reviews police shootings and makes recommendations to Chief Robert G. Luna about whether the officer acted within department policy. 

The chief is responsible for making the final determination about whether the shooting was within department policy, according to the website. If the chief determines the shooting is outside department policy, the case will be sent to the Internal Affairs Division, which will conduct its own investigation and present its findings to the chief and his executive team.

The chief will also determine any discipline that would result, according to the website. 

Saycon's family members have filed a claim against the department, alleging that officers knew Saycon had a mental disability and used excessive force against him instead of deescalating the situation. 

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