Manuel Ramirez, 37 [Updated]
Manuel Ramirez, a 37-year-old Latino man, was shot and killed by Los Angeles police Sunday, Sept. 5, near West 6th Street and South Union Avenue in Westlake, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.
[Note: Based on preliminary information provided by the coroner's office, an earlier version of this post named the victim as Manuel Jaminez. Ed Winter, a spokesman for the coroner's office, said they obtained the name and spelling from a cousin at the scene. Family members previously told The Times that the dead man's name was Manuel Jamines.
Coroner's officials, from the start, said they needed to do additional research to determine the man's identity. That search uncovered three possible names and dates of birth.
Department of Justice records ultimately were used because the fingerprints matched, Winter said. Those records established his age at death as 37. Immigration and Customs Enforcement records gave his name as Gregorio Luis Perez, with a 1984 date of birth. Family members who identified him as Manuel Jaminez or Jamines said he was born in 1972.]
Three officers with the bicycle unit from the LAPD's Rampart Division were patrolling the area when a pedestrian flagged them down and told them a man with a knife was threatening people, Cmdr. Blake Chou said.
Officers approached Ramirez, ordered him to drop the knife and fired the fatal shots when he didn't comply, he said. Chou said Ramirez may have lunged at the officers.
According to coroner's records, Ramirez died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head. He was pronounced dead at 1:08 p.m.
The officers involved were taken to the station, where they were being interviewed, and LAPD's force investigation division was on the scene, Chou said.
At the scene, crowds of weekend shoppers, many with young children, swarmed around the police tape cordoning off two blocks lined with dollar stores, liquor shops, and a Food 4 Less. The sheet-covered body, with blood running down the sidewalk, was in plain sight on the street corner. Three bicycles were near the body, two on their side and one standing.
Residents angrily yelled at police, cursing at them and calling them killers. Some said Ramirez was a vagrant who was well-known in the neighborhood but was not dangerous. They said they heard three gunshots, but police could not immediately say how many shots were fired.
Emphasizing that the LAPD's internal investigation into the shooting had only just begun, Police Chief Charlie Beck said initial accounts from witnesses and the involved officers indicated that the officer who fired acted "in immediate defense of life."
-- Victoria Kim and Joel Rubin
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