A story for every victim

Michael Dwaine Rogers, 32

Michael Dwaine Rogers, a 32-year-old white man, was fatally shot by Los Angeles police Tuesday, Jan. 10, in the 1100 block of South Hope Street downtown, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Shortly before 5 p.m., a security guard saw Rogers, armed with a kitchen knife, try to carjack an L.A. City Department of Transportation officer, but the officer was able to fend him off, police said.

The transportation officer waved down two LAPD traffic officers, who confronted Rogers on South Hope Street between 11th and 12th streets.

Rogers lunged at the driver’s side of the police cruiser with the knife, police said. The officer at the wheel sped forward and made a U-turn, but Rogers entered a nearby exercise studio, frightening customers who scrambled to get away. Rogers then exited the business and was confronted by officers.

“Rogers continued to walk toward the officers still armed with the large knife,” the Police Department said in a statement.

Standing behind the passenger door of his police cruiser, Officer David Machain yelled at Rogers to stop, police said. But Rogers ran toward Machain with the knife, screaming, “I’m going to kill you.”

Machain again ordered Rogers to stop. Police said he moved to within a few feet of the officer. That’s when Machain fired several rounds at Rogers, who fell in the middle of the street.

A neighbor captured the moment on a phone camera from a second-floor apartment window. 

Rogers was declared dead at a hospital, said LAPD Capt. Andrew Neiman.

Minutes later, Rogers’ girlfriend discovered the body of 32-year-old Lisa Ramirez in the apartment she shared with Rogers. About two hours earlier, Ramirez was working in the open-air courtyard of the Flower Street Lofts when police say Rogers ushered her into his unit, police said.

What exactly was said isn’t known, but minutes later Ramirez was dead of stab wounds. Police are trying to determine a motive for the slaying and are looking into Rogers’ background, Neiman said.

Ramirez, who lived in Pico Rivera, was about to get married and was excited about her future.

“She loved life. She loved to laugh. She would call and tell me about the beautiful view and people she helped every day,” says her mother, Virginia Ramirez. “Lisa, she had accomplished so much.”

The violence stunned residents in the lofts as well as downtown's South Park neighborhood, a fast-growing, fast-gentrifying area around Staples Center.

“It was a senseless killing. Everyone loved Lisa. She was such a good person,” said David Mayemura, who manages the property. 

“She touched everyone who came into contact with her,” he said, quavering.

Authorities say that moments after killing Ramirez, Rogers walked to a nearby residential tower, made his way to the 15th floor and tried to access a balcony in an apparent effort to commit suicide. Police say building security kicked him out.

According to court records, in 2013 Rogers was convicted of domestic violence in two separate incidents. He received 45 days in jail for one; for the other, a year plus five years’ probation. In 2015, he was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse of a girlfriend. That case was pending.

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