Videos showing the moment a man begins firing at two Los Angeles Police Department officers in North Hills — before he's shot multiple times by one of them — were released by LAPD on Monday after the shooting left him dead and another officer injured.
The man seen shooting at officers, 32-year-old Richard Mendoza, was pulled over for an "investigative stop" in the 9400 block of Noble Avenue on the night of July 27, according to police. He was pulled over after one of the officers recognized him "from a previous police contact," said LAPD Commander Alan S. Hamilton, who leads the department's Force Investigation Group, in the edited video.
Police have not released other details about why Mendoza was stopped, only saying he's a documented gang member with prior convictions for narcotics sales and possession of a firearm by a felon.
LAPD has released partial body cam footage from the two officers involved and video taken from inside the patrol vehicle — all showing an encounter that started off relatively quiet before quickly turning bloody. A female officer's leg was injured with a gunshot wound while Mendoza was treated for wounds and later pronounced dead, officials state in the video.
The stop happened about 10:14 p.m., as video from the patrol vehicle shows, and a female officer is seen walking up to the driver side window of a silver sedan. She's heard asking the driver how he's doing and he responds, "pretty good." Then she responds, "Good? Haven't seen you in awhile."
She then asks if he's still on probation and he replies that he has nine more months to go. The officer then asks him to step out of the vehicle, saying "you're good" as she opens the door for him. Meanwhile, a male officer is seen standing on the passenger side of the car.
Body cam footage from that male officer shows Mendoza with both his hands raised and off the steering wheel while he speaks with the female officer.
But as he steps out of the car, Mendoza is seen quickly whipping a gun out of his waistband and then firing at the female officer. Body cam footage shows him pulling the firearm out from his right side.
Video from the patrol vehicle shows the female officer falling to the ground as Mendoza appears to then quickly turn and shoot at the other officer, who has already begun shooting at him. The male officer fires several shots at Mendoza — shooting through the car's windows as glass is seen shattering and Mendoza falls to the ground.
The male officer is then seen walking around the back of the car, approaching Mendoza as he's seen lying face down on the ground. After the officer makes his way around the car, video shows him fire one more shot at Mendoza while he's down.
The officer then radioes for help immediately after, as he's heard saying, “Officers need help. Shots fired!” The female officer's screams can be heard several times throughout the encounter and she's heard telling the other officer her left leg's been shot.
He can be heard telling her, "You're gonna be okay" before kneeling down and saying, "I got you, I got you."
The female officer is heard moaning as the other officer then walks over to Mendoza, who is still face down with his arms folded over his head. The officer lifts up his arms, which both appear limp, one at a time before placing them in handcuffs behind his back.
Body cam footage from the male officer shows a pool of blood around Mendoza's head and a trail of blood running along both his arms as they are placed into handcuffs.
As he's putting Mendoza in cuffs, the female officer can be heard radioing, "I need an ambulance for myself."
After that portion of the footage, the edited video by LAPD then cuts to a written statement: "The suspect was handcuffed to control his hands for the officers’ safety."
Another statement is shown in the next frame: "Mendoza was transported to a local hospital, where he was treated for multiple gunshot wounds to the head and torso."
The video then states Mendoza was pronounced dead "at a later date," although police have not given an exact date for his death. An LAPD news release issued four days after the shooting said he was still in critical condition at the time.
Meanwhile, the injured officer was treated for a gunshot wound to her left leg, officials said.
A .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol was recovered from the scene, found in the area where Mendoza's body was lying, according to police.
Over the next several months, LAPD will continue to investigate the use of force in the incident. Findings will be presented to the Board of Police Commissioners while representatives with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and Office of the Inspector General will also monitor the investigation.
No other details were released by LAPD.