HomeCommunity IssuesFamily accuses LAPD of overreacting in fatal shooting in Koreatown

Family accuses LAPD of overreacting in fatal shooting in Koreatown

The family of a 40-year-old distressed man is demanding answers after Los Angeles police officers shot and killed him while trying to take him in for a mental health hold.

Police say they responded to a call on May 2 and attempted to assist the Department of Mental Health to escort Yong Yang to a care facility. Authorities allege Yang came at them with a knife before fatally shooting him, reported KTLA.

However, the family has a different version of the story. They said and the police confirm that they called asking for assistance.

His mother denies her son had a knife saying “He was not carrying a knife when I was in the house. He had never threatened someone with a knife before,” she said to the Korea Daily.

 “It’s hard to understand why it was necessary to shoot him that many times. The officer told me that my son was shot four times,” said Min Yang, the victim’s father.

According to police, mental health officials attempted to place Yong Yang on a 72 hour hold after he tried to assault one of them. CBS Los Angeles reported that he had previously been diagnosed as bipolar with schizoaffective disorder and that his parents called to report their son was exhibiting “erratic and threatening behavior.”

“Several attempts were made to communicate with Yang and encourage him to exit the residence; however, he refused,” LAPD officials said in a statement. “Moments later, Yang advanced toward the officers and an officer-involved shooting occurred. Yang was struck by gunfire, dropped the knife, and was taken into custody without further incident.”

Medical personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.

“We’re going to investigate this case very carefully,” Los Angeles Interim Police Chief Dominic Choi told the Korea Daily. “The rules for officers to shoot are when there is an immediate threat, reasonable cause to respond, and the suspect’s behavior is key.”

The family says it remains frustrated that they are not getting answers.

“The police killed my brother,” said Yang’s twin to the Korea Daily. “The police are not disclosing any information despite the family’s questions.”

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