Rodney Lee Hunter Jr., 27
Rodney Lee Hunter Jr., a 27-year-old black man, was killed by police officers on Friday, June 29, in the 4100 block of South University Drive in Pomona, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Hunter was a custodian at Cal Poly Pomona and a suspect in a stabbing that killed university security officer Mark Manlapaz, 36, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Howard Cooper.
Manlapaz was stabbed and his throat was slashed about 4:30 p.m. as he sat in his work truck in a parking lot on the south side of Pomona Boulevard, just south of West Temple Avenue, Cooper said.
Investigators believe Hunter killed Manlapaz, who was checking passes for a film being shot in the area, and then got into a vehicle and drove to another campus location about a mile away, the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies at 4105 S. University Drive, Cooper said.
Hunter did custodial work at both locations, Cooper said.
Employees at the Lyle Center called the police to report that Hunter was covered in blood and acting irrationally, Cooper said. Hunter is also alleged to have assaulted another employee at the center; that worker was not seriously injured, he said.
Several campus police officers, as well as officers for the city of Pomona responded to the scene, Cooper said, “and Mr. Hunter dictated what occurred next. He exited the building and charged the officers without stating a word, and that’s when the officer-involved shooting occurred.”
Hunter was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:14 p.m., according to coroner’s records. The cause of death was listed as multiple gunshot wounds.
He was shot by a Pomona police officer and a campus police officer, Cooper said. Investigators found a knife near Hunter that they believe was used to kill Manlapaz, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.
Hunter lived in Pomona and had worked at the university for two or three years without incident, Cooper said. Investigators don’t know whether Hunter had any connection with Manlapaz or what set off the incident.
Toxicology tests are being run to determine whether any chemicals or drugs could have affected Hunter’s behavior, but investigators haven’t found any evidence of past irrational acts, Cooper said. “We have no idea why this occurred.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.