Sawandi Asad Toussaint, 21
Sawandi Asad Toussaint, a 21-year-old black man also known as Sawandi Asad Toussaint-Anderson, was fatally shot by police officers on Saturday, Oct. 12, in the 3500 block of Santa Anita Avenue in El Monte, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.
El Monte police officers were called to the bus depot on Santa Anita Avenue around 2:30 p.m. to look into reports of a man firing a gun in the lower level where buses drop off passengers, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Brandon Dean.
After reviewing hours of surveillance video, investigators believe Toussaint walked to the depot and down to the lower level, Dean said. Once downstairs, it appears Toussaint fired one round into the air and two into the cement walls before putting his gun into his backpack and walking back upstairs and onto the street, where he was spotted by the arriving officers, Dean said.
Toussaint took off running, with the officers in pursuit, and then stopped, pulled a handgun from his backpack and pointed it at the officers, Dean said.
The lead officer, who was about 15 to 20 feet behind, fired at Toussaint, who fell but ignored commands and made another movement toward the officers with the gun still in his hand, Dean said. That's when three other officers opened fire, he said, "and the suspect stopped moving."
Toussaint was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:04 p.m., according to coroner's records. A .45-caliber handgun was found next to him.
Dean said it does not appear that Toussaint ever fired at the officers. No one else was injured.
Investigators traced the gun back to an unidentified El Monte reserve police officer, who once worked full time for the department, Dean said.
The gun had been issued to the officer while he was on active duty, Dean said, but in 2007, when the department switched to a different type of gun, the officers were given the option of buying their old service weapons. The officer, who has not been identified, purchased his gun and has since retired and gone into reserve duty.
It's not clear how Toussaint came into possession of the gun. There is no evidence that Toussaint ever met the officer or any of his family members, Dean said. The officer is going through a divorce and was not even aware that the gun was missing, he said.
El Monte Police Chief David Reynoso said he could not comment on the officer's status and referred all questions about the shooting to the sheriff's homicide bureau.
Toussaint was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and moved to Sanford, Fla., with his parents in 2003, when he was 5, according to his obituary. "His most noteworthy achievements [were] swimming and helping the homeless," the obituary said. He had no history of mental illness, Dean said, and is survived by his mother, father, stepfather, grandmother and three siblings.
Dean said he didn't know how long Toussaint had been living in El Monte, or what brought him to California.
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.