LAPD Releases Video of Shooting That Killed Woman Held at Knifepoint

A stabbing suspect and hostage were killed in the June 16 shooting near a Van Nuys church

Los Angeles police released body camera video Tuesday of a police shooting that killed a man and a woman he was holding at knife-point in Van Nuys.

LAPD Body Camera Video: Click here to watch the video released by the LAPD (Warning: Graphic Content)

Police initially responded to a report of a man who had stabbed his ex-girlfriend June 16 at a church. Officers who arrived at the church in 6400 block of Tyrone Avenue in Van Nuys found the man holding a large serrated knife, police said. As officers got out of their vehicles, the suspect identified as 32-year-old Guillermo Perez, was ordered to drop the knife, police said.

Officers can be heard yelling, "Drop the knife," in the body camera video.

An officer fired a beanbag shotgun at Perez, who used a folding chair to deflect two rounds. He then grabbed a woman standing next to a nearby building and pushed her in between himself and officers, raising the knife to her neck, police said.

Three officers opened fire, striking the woman and Perez, who both collapsed to the ground. 

"Tragically, the woman was also struck twice by gunfire," said LAPD Chief Michel Moore before presenting the graphic video Tuesday.

Both later died at a hospital.

Perez's ex-girlfriend was treated for stab wounds at a hospital.

The video was released a week after Moore announced that a Trader Joe's employee was killed by a round fired by one of his officer's during a shootout and hostage standoff at the store in Silver Lake. Moore said the Trader Joe's shooting was the first in 13 years in which a hostage was killed by LAPD gunfire. 

"This is another case where officers were forced to make split-second decisions based on the actions of a violent individual," Moore said. "It was a tense situation that unfolded quickly. An innocent person... was killed."

Moore said he has spoken with members of the woman's family.

He also said at Tuesday's briefing that the department is reviewing its "less lethal" weapon options and its training procedures following the two recent shootings. The department is considering a new "40mm launcher" weapon that fires a larger and more powerful projectile than the current beanbag shotguns. The weapon is more accurate and effective up to a distance of 100 feet, he said.

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