Mharloun Verdejo Saycon, 39
Mharloun Verdejo Saycon, a 39-year-old Filipino man, was shot and killed by a Long Beach police officer Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, at 2500 Long Beach Boulevard in Long Beach, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Long Beach officers were called to Looff’s Lite-A-Line arcade at 10:08 p.m. after receiving a report that a man inside was armed with a knife, according to a department news release.
As they were driving to the scene, the officers received an update that the man, later identified as Saycon, was waving the knife and frightening people at the arcade.
When officers arrived, they saw Saycon sitting in a chair “still armed with a knife,” according to the release. Saycon refused to comply with the officers’ orders to drop the knife, even after they used a Taser and baton to try to get him to drop the weapon.
“The less-lethal options were ineffective, and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” the news release said. Saycon was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:32 p.m. with multiple gunshot wounds, according to coroner’s records.
Saycon's name was not released by the coroner’s office until March 16. In December, a department spokesman told The Times that two officers had tried to subdue Saycon with the Taser and baton and that one officer opened fire. A department spokesman said March 16 that the department would have no further statement beyond its Dec. 15 news release.
Saycon’s family filed a legal claim against the Long Beach Police Department on March 17, The Times reported. The claim disputes the department’s version of events, saying Saycon was sitting silently in a chair, not threatening anyone, when officers entered the business. It also says the officers used a Taser against him as soon as they arrived, without giving him any verbal commands.
The claim, usually a precursor to a lawsuit, said the staff of the business and the officers knew Saycon suffered from a mental disability, but the officers failed to deescalate the situation. The claim does not explain what kind of mental disability Saycon had and doesn't mention whether Saycon was holding the knife when officers arrived.
According to the claim, earlier in the evening, an employee noticed Saycon scratching a three-inch knife against a table, and asked him to put the blade away, which he did. Saycon stayed in the business and another employee eventually called police and asked for help in escorting Saycon from the premises.
“During this whole incident, Mharloun never waved the knife around, did not point it at anyone, and never threatened anyone with it,” according to the claim.
The claim says the officers used excessive force against Saycon and asks that the Los Angeles County district attorney's office prosecute the officers involved in his death.
According to the claim, Saycon was shot eight times in the arm, chest and abdomen. The department has not released the names of the officers involved in the shooting.
Long Beach homicide detectives are investigating the shooting for the department. Anyone with information is asked to call (562) 570-7244. As in all officer-involved shootings, the district attorney’s office is also conducting an investigation.