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Steven Hernandez, 23

Steven Hernandez, a 23-year-old Latino, was shot and killed by Huntington Park police officers Saturday, Feb. 7, at 6515 Albany St. in Huntington Park, according to authorities.

Hernandez fled from a car that was stopped by Huntington Park police officers because it matched the description of the vehicle involved in a robbery, said Lt. Dan Rosenberg of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the case.

“The officers became involved in a foot pursuit, and during this time, additional officers responded,” he said. “They were setting up a perimeter containment, and at some point Mr. Hernandez emerged out between a house and actually began to run onto Albany Street. It was at that time he was shot by two veteran Huntington Park officers.”

Rosenberg said it was not clear why Hernandez, who was in the vehicle with two women and a man, decided to run.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide investigators said that two officers involved in the shooting Saturday night opened fire because they felt their lives were in danger. No weapons were recovered from Hernandez.

Huntington Park police were initially called about a report of a man with a gun in the 2100 block of Zoe Avenue, but that call was soon changed to an armed robbery, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Richard Li.

When officers arrived, they saw a dark-colored vehicle leaving the scene and tried to initiate a traffic stop, Li said. A short pursuit followed. The vehicle stopped in an alley, where one of four men inside jumped out and began running through nearby residences, Li said.

Investigators did not say why officers felt their lives were in danger, Li said. The three other people in the car are being questioned by authorities, but Li could not say whether they had been arrested.

Authorities determined the day after the shooting that Hernandez had not been involved in the robbery that initiated the police decision to stop the car he was traveling in at the time.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

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