Sword-wielding man fatally shot by police in North Hollywood identified

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Police respond to a fatal officer-involved shooting in North Hollywood on May 27, 2020. (KTLA)

Police respond to a fatal officer-involved shooting in North Hollywood on May 27, 2020. (KTLA)

A man who was fatally shot by police in North Hollywood after they say he advanced on them while armed with a sword has been identified by authorities as 50-year-old Rommel Mendoza.

Los Angeles Police Department officers were called to the 6400 block of Elmer Avenue about 11:35 a.m. Wednesday for a neighbor dispute.

Responding officers tried making contact with Mendoza after speaking to the people who reported the dispute. As police approached the back of his home, Mendoza “became verbally aggressive, and was screaming at the officers from inside,” police said in a news release Thursday.

Mendoza then got out of the home while holding a “wide-bladed sword” and he allegedly ordered officers to shoot him.

Police say Mendoza moved “aggressively” toward the officers, causing them to retreat back onto the street and call for help.

The officers took cover behind vehicles in the area as Mendoza allegedly followed them while still armed with the weapon.

As more officers arrived, they ordered Mendoza to drop the sword, but he failed to comply and eventually returned to his home, police said.

While Mendoza remained inside his home, authorities devised a plan that included an LAPD helicopter and less-than-lethal responses.

About 12:15 p.m., Mendoza returned to the street while still armed with the sword and refused to surrender despite numerous commands, police said.

Mendoza then allegedly advanced toward the officers, who shot a “40mm less-lethal launcher.”

At one point, he was also struck by gunfire and fell to the ground, police said.

He was taken into custody before being declared dead at the scene.

The sword was recovered as evidence.

No officers or bystanders were injured during the incident.

The LAPD’s force investigation division responded to the scene after the shooting and began interviewing witnesses and collecting additional evidence.

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