LAPD Releases Video in Police Killing of Knife-Wielding Man in Downtown L.A. Metro Station

Officials on Wednesday released video surrounding officers’ fatal shooting of a man armed with a knife in a downtown Los Angeles Metro station in February.

L.A. police also identified the knife-wielding man as Wilfredo Hernandez, 47, of Los Angeles. The update came in the form of a critical-incident video release, which the L.A. Police Commission mandates after a police shooting in an effort to increase investigative transparency.

Wilfredo Hernandez is seen in an undated booking photo released April 3, 2019, by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Wilfredo Hernandez is seen in an undated booking photo released April 3, 2019, by the Los Angeles Police Department.

But unlike most videos released since the policy was instated last year, there is no bodycam footage of Hernandez’s Feb. 14 shooting inside the Seventh Street/Metro Center station beneath Seventh and Flower streets.

That’s because officers assigned to patrol Metro stations aren’t given bodycams, LAPD said. The department instead released footage from security cameras inside the station that only partially show what happened.

A pair of officers on patrol at the station were flagged down to handle Hernandez around 6:50 a.m. after the suspect was involved in a confrontation with Metro security, said LAPD Capt. Gisselle Espinoza.

Hernandez still had the knife in his hand when the officers approached him, Espinoza said. The surveillance video shows him exit a turnstile with the weapon in his right hand shortly before the officers contacted him.

Not much else from the confrontation is visible.

You can see two security officers and two LAPD officers interacting with Hernandez near the turnstiles, but only from the waist down. Another angle then captures the group’s feet as they run across the station, and someone about to enter a turnstile backs away with trepidation.

LAPD says one officer first tired to use a stun gun to take Hernandez into custody, but it had no effect.

Hernandez then allegedly charged officers with knife. One officer backed away but opened fire, fatally striking the suspect, Espinoza said.

Paramedics responded and pronounced Hernandez dead at the scene.

A knife was found on ground near where he fell after being was shot, officials said.

Hernandez had no prior contact with LAPD’s mental evaluation unit, but had previously been arrested on suspicion of trespassing and narcotics possession, police said.

Officials are continuing to investigate the police shooting and have yet to make a determination on whether the officer’s use of deadly force was in line with department policy.

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