A story for every victim

Ruben Jose Herrera, 26

Ruben Herrera, a 26-year-old Latino, was shot and killed by Los Angeles police Saturday, Dec. 19 at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in the 1000 block of West Carson Street in Torrance, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

LAPD officials said residents of the the Harbor Gateway neighborhood called 911 about 8 a.m. to report a man throwing bottles at an apartment complex in the 1600 block of West 207th Street. The residents "tried to resolve it themselves," said Lt. John Jenal, but ultimately called police.

Officers responded to the neighborhood and tried to talk to Herrera, Jenal said. Herrera then allegedly took a "fighting stance" and attacked the officers, at one point reaching for one officer's weapon, Jenal said.

The officers used a Taser and a carotid restraint — where pressure is applied to the sides of the neck — to take the man into custody, Jenal said.

Both Herrera and the officers — who Jenal said were injured during the struggle — were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Herrera was taken to Harbor-UCLA.

"He was cooperative, he was pleasant," Jenal said. "No indications of any violence or any backlash."

Herrera was ultimately cleared by medical staff to be taken to jail for booking, Jenal said.

Jenal said that at about 2:30 p.m., when other officers went to remove handcuffs holding Herrera on a gurney and then to handcuff him again for transport, Herrera "suddenly goes on the attack."

Herrera picked up a metal stool and the officers again tried to use a Taser, Jenal said, but the less-lethal device "did not have any impact."

Jenal said Herrera tried to reach for one officer's gun, prompting an officer to draw his weapon and fire. Herrera was struck once in the torso, Jenal said.

Doctors and nurses tried to help him, he said, but he died at the scene, Jenal said.

On-duty LAPD officers have shot 35 people this year. Twenty, including the man shot Saturday, were killed.

Jenal said the LAPD delayed releasing information about the shooting until the man's family could be notified of his death. He said that although relatives had gathered at the hospital after the initial incident, they had subsequently left and couldn't initially be located after the fatal shooting.

Jenal said there were several witnesses to the deadly encounter, which will be reviewed by the district attorney's office, the Police Commission and the LAPD inspector general.

Harbor–UCLA Medical Center, a 570-bed public teaching hospital serves 700,000 residents in the South Bay.

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