An investigation is underway after Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies shot and killed a man who allegedly stabbed an elderly woman in Altadena.
It happened Sunday around 5:15 p.m. on the 2100 block of El Sereno Avenue, the Sheriff’s Department said.
Several deputies from the Altadena Sheriff’s Station responded to a gas station on the corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Woodbury Road for a report of a man who was armed with a metal object and trying to stab people.
When deputies arrived on scene, they found a man who matched the description of the initial call. As they followed the suspect, he allegedly stabbed an elderly woman with the sharp object and then attempted to stab an unidentified man.
That’s when, the Sheriff’s Department says, deputies opened fire and shot the man.
Despite life-saving measure by paramedics, the man was declared dead at the scene.
None of the deputies involved were injured, the Sheriff’s Department added.
A sharp metal object was recovered at the scene, although it’s unclear what the object was.
He has not yet been formally identified, but a man at the scene who described himself as the man’s brother identified him as Charlie Towns.
Michael Towns described his brother as a “jolly” and “nice” person who was trying to get back on his feet and support his family, but was struggling with his own mental health.
“Mental health and mental illness is a real thing and we can’t act like its not, and people who do have mental illness, they need help,” Michael Towns said.
The Sheriff’s Department has not said how many deputies opened fire or how many times Towns was shot. Authorities have also not released any information regarding the elderly woman who was allegedly stabbed.
The shooting remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be provided online.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department policy dictates that whenever a deputy fires their weapon and hits a person during a response, multiple investigations are immediately launched. Both the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau and Internal Affairs Bureau investigate, as well as the California Office of the Inspector General, who provides independent oversight and assistance with the investigations.
Once those investigations are concluded, the findings will be reviewed by several agencies and governing bodies to determine whether or not criminal charges will be filed or if the shooting was legally justified.