Police Comment on Officer Involved Shooting in Response to Attorney Statements

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Aluminum baseball bat recovered from suspect’s waistband.

The Long Beach Police Department would not normally comment on an officer involved shootings at this point in the investigation, which is ongoing and incomplete.  However, since a number of public statements made by Attorney Brian Claypool are inflammatory, completely inconsistent with the evidence, and grossly inaccurate in relation to the incident involving John Del Real Jr., the Department feels compelled to respond:

  • The shooting stemmed from an investigation into violent crime and narcotics activity in the neighborhood
  • Over the past several months, in their efforts to combat criminal activity taking place in that immediate area, patrol officers and undercover officers made arrests for weapons charges, and possession and sales of controlled substances, including methamphetamine
  • The officer identified himself as a police officer prior to the shooting
  • After the shooting, paramedics were requested and first-aid was immediately administered by officers
  • A 31-inch aluminum baseball bat was found in the suspect’s waistband
  • It was determined that Del Real was an admitted member of a known White supremacist gang, a fact supported by the multiple swastika tattoos appearing on his body
  • He also had a history of arrests that included domestic violence, theft, narcotics, exhibiting a deadly weapon, and parole violation

The Long Beach Police Department investigates all deaths, including those that result from an officer involved shooting, with the utmost care and diligence. Officer involved shootings are traumatic for all parties involved and we will go to extreme lengths to collect and examine all the facts relating to this case, to determine what happened and how it occurred.

Both the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office responded to the initial crime scene, and are conducting independent investigations into the circumstances that led to the shooting as they do with all officer involved shootings that result in injury or death that occur in Los Angeles County.

It is important that all witnesses come forward with information relating to this incident.  Anyone who may have additional information should contact Long Beach Police Homicide Detectives Scott Lasch and Donald Goodman at (562) 570-7244 and/or the LA County District Attorney Justice System’s Integrity Division at (213) 974-3888.

Read the original release here.

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