Prosecutors have cleared two Los Angeles Police Department detectives in the 2016 shooting and capture of a man on the 5 Freeway in Burbank, who was wanted in a six-month crime spree that included a murder, shootings, carjackings, and robberies across Southern California.
The two detectives assigned to the Department's Special Investigations Section lawfully shot Artyom Gasparyan during a footchase on the freeway shoulder when Gasparyan turned and pointed a .357-magnum handgun toward officers.
"Under the circumstances, the detectives had a choice to either allow a dangerous felon to escape and/or possibly fire at them, or use deadly force to apprehend him," the LA County District Attorney's Office concluded. "Gasparyan was clearly a continuing threat to public safety and, under the circumstances, the detectives and officers could not allow Gasparyan to escape into the community and continue his deadly crime spree."
Gasparyan was shot seven times with rifle rounds fired by the detectives and survived.
According to prosecutors, at the time of the police shooting on Jan. 4, 2016, Gasparyan was wanted for a violent crime spree that began on Aug. 5, 2015, when he allegedly stabbed a woman who refused to have sex with him after the two smoked crystal meth.
Gasparyan is suspected in dozens of other crimes, including a murder on Dec. 30, 2015 at Plummer and Van Nuys Boulevard in which he allegedly shot a driver at random while fleeing from another shooting scene.
The 37-year-old driver, Adan Alexis Corea-Santillana, was struck in the shoulder, collapsed, and died.
Gasparyan is awaiting trial on a multitude of charges and will appear in court on for another pretrial hearing Jan. 24, according to the district attorney's office.