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Suspect Rodolfo Martinez Assaults Firefighters in Paramount; Bites Deputy and is Subsequently Shot in the Buttocks


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Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives are investigating a deputy-involved shooting that occurred on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at approximately 3:11 p.m.  Although it was initially reported and believed that no deputy-involved shooting had occurred, further medical evaluation and investigation throughout the night has revealed that the suspect did sustain a single gunshot wound.

Investigators have learned that Lakewood Station deputies responded to a disturbance call and subsequent structure fire call for service at a residence located in the 6500 block of San Luis Street in Paramount.  The suspect’s initial actions towards firefighters on the scene escalated the situation which resulted in the emergency call to the Sheriff’s Department.  It was reported that the suspect lit at least four fires inside the house and threatened responding firefighters by spraying the contents of a fire extinguisher towards them and then throwing it at them, preventing them from entering the house to put out the fire and look for additional potential residents or victims.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they saw that the residence was on fire.  They were informed by Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters that the suspect, a male adult, was inside the home refusing to exit.  The firefighters further stated that the suspect had assaulted several of them when they tried to get him away from the fire.

In an attempt to rescue the suspect from the burning home and protect the lives of others who may have been inside, deputies approached the front porch and were confronted by the suspect who immediately attacked them using a metal walker, which apparently belonged to his father who is a resident at the house.  A struggle ensued between the suspect and the deputies, where the deputies worked to distance the suspect and themselves from the fire and get him into custody.  The deputies exercised restraint and managed to work around the walker and grab hold of the suspect.  The situation continued to escalate as the deputies went to extraordinary efforts to try and save the man’s life.

The deputies initially employed team takedown tactics and less lethal force options in an attempt to calm the suspect, overcome his resistance, and get him into custody.  As the violent struggle continued on the front lawn of the residence, a TASER was used, but it had no effect on stopping the suspect’s assaultive behavior.   The suspect continued to fight and bit the arm of one of the deputies.  A deputy reported that during the altercation the suspect grabbed hold of her gun, which was in her holster, and violently tried to remove it from her control.  The suspect was eventually controlled and apprehended.

During the attempted medical evaluation and treatment of the suspect at the scene by the Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel, the suspect remained resistive and assaultive towards emergency services personnel who were trying to help him.

He was transported to the hospital, where he continued his violent behavior towards all staff.  It wasn’t until much later in the evening on Thursday, December 1, 2016, after the suspect was sedated and treated for injuries sustained during the altercation, that investigators were alerted by medical professionals at the hospital to the fact the suspect had sustained a single, non-life threatening, gunshot wound to the buttocks area.  The investigation continued throughout the night and detectives are still trying to determine how the gunshot wound occurred.  Preliminary information indicates that an unintentional discharge by one of the deputies at the time of the violent struggle may have caused the wound.  It appears at this time that at least one of the deputies had his firearm un-holstered in response to the suspect’s attack, which apparently included attempts to disarm a deputy.  The investigation is continuing.

The suspect, Rodolfo Martinez, a 32 year-old Hispanic male, and resident at the location, has been booked on charges Assault on a Peace Officer and Firefighter, Arson, and Attempting to Disarm a Peace Officer.  He is currently being held in lieu of $350,000 bail.

Six deputies were transported to a local area hospital for smoke inhalation.  The deputy that was bitten by the suspect was additionally treated for a bite wound to his forearm.  All six deputies were subsequently released.

No firefighters were injured.

LASD Arson/Explosives Detail personnel are investigating the cause of the fire and Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is investigating the shooting.  This was a dynamic and rapidly evolving incident and the extensive investigation is continuing.  Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau investigators are continuing to interview deputies, fire department personnel, and other witnesses.  They are also reviewing video recordings of the incident as it unfolded.  A Critical Incident Review will occur in the coming days as the total facts of the incident are determined.  The Office of the Inspector General, Constitutional Policing Advisors, and District Attorney’s Office will be involved in review of the investigative process.  Additional details and information will be provided as they become available.

Whenever a Deputy Involved Shooting occurs involving Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies and it results in the wounding of a suspect, multiple independent investigations occur.  These include separate investigations by the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Internal Affairs Bureau.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department notifies the Office of the Inspector General who provides independent oversight of the investigative process.  The mission of the Office of Inspector General is to provide strong, independent and effective oversight of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and to ensure transparent, accountable and constitutional policing for the County of Los Angeles.  The Critical Incident Review panel convenes to perform a preliminary risk management analysis of the shooting.  This panel is comprised of the concerned chief and unit commander, risk management and training personnel, the chairperson of the Executive Force Review Committee, and a representative from the Office of the Los Angeles County Counsel.  Every aspect of a Deputy-Involved shooting is ultimately evaluated by the Sheriff’s Executive Force Review Committee, which determines whether there are any policy, tactical, supervisory, or training violations or concerns.  The Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney also participates in the investigatory process and conducts a legal analysis of the shooting.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.  If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), ), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP, or “P3 Mobile” for the hearing impaired, on Google play or the App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.