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Vinson Lee Ramos, 37

Vinson Lee Ramos (2016-07-07)

Vinson Lee Ramos, a 37-year-old Latino, was shot and killed by police officers on Thursday, July 7, in the 7100 block of South Atlantic Avenue in Bell, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Ramos allegedly asked Bell Police officers to shoot him and then charged toward them with a knife after a domestic dispute inside a nearby restaurant and store, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Cotter, whose homicide team is investigating the shooting. 

The officers were called to s 7-Eleven store at 8:20 a.m. after Ramos and his girlfriend, who is 8-months pregnant, got into an argument at a Jack In the Box next door, Cotter said. 

Ramos allegedly shoved his girlfriend against a wall at the restaurant and then walked next door to the 7-Eleven, Cotter said. The woman followed, with her 5-year-old son in tow, he said. 

Witnesses reported that Ramos was allegedly holding a folding knife with a 4-inch blade at the restaurant and the store, Cotter said. “He was very aggressive in the store. The people in there ran and hid.”

Someone called 911, and when officers arrived, they stayed in the store parking lot and ordered Ramos to come out and drop his knife, Cotter said. 

“He came out and was telling them to shoot him,” Cotter said. “His girlfriend was outside, and the officers told her to get away from him, so she took the child and hid somewhere in the store.”

Ramos followed his girlfriend back the store briefly, Cotter said, and then came back outside, walking “pretty dang fast” towards the officers and still brandishing the knife. 

Three of the five officers there fired at Ramos multiple times, Cotter said. Ramos was hit by several bullets and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:52 a.m. 

“He wanted the officers to shoot him,” Cotter said. 

“We can talk all day about the dynamic of it all, but with a guy like this, he went out and forced these three officers to protect themselves and one another because he decided he wanted his life to end. It’s a terrible thing, because I’m sure these officers didn’t go to work that day hoping to shoot someone. He chose this path, and he left a child who’s orphaned now and altered the lives of three policemen who wanted nothing more than to serve the public all day.”

Cotter said he couldn’t yet identify the shooting officers. They were all veterans of the force, he said.

The shooting is under investigation by a the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau. Anyone with information is asked to call the (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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