A double murder suspect did not have a weapon when three LAPD officers and one FBI agent shot and killed the man on a roof in La Mirada last week, police announced Wednesday.
At the time of the shooting, LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said 27-year-old Frank Martinez fired a round at members of an LAPD-FBI task force.
But investigators did not find a weapon at the scene or on Martinez’s person, LAPD Sgt. Mitzi Fierro said Wednesday.
Local news from across Southern California
The information was confirmed by the coroner Monday, and released to police officials Tuesday during their incident briefing, Fierro said.
Officers attempted to serve a warrant on March 1 to a La Mirada residence where they knew Martinez was, Fierro said.
When people inside the home walked out the front door, Martinez slipped out the back and onto the roof.
Martinez, a registered gang member, reportedly used his index finger and thumb to simulate a pointed gun, aiming his hand at the officers below, Fierro said. That’s when three LAPD officers and one FBI agent fired on the man, killing him.
Officers were "armed with information that (Martinez) was a double murder suspect and that he was uncooperative and really not complying with any orders," Fierro said, adding that witnesses reported hearing popping sounds.
But a witness who recorded the shooting, and the subsequent investigation, noted that Martinez did not fire at the officers.
Rather, the suspect appeared to move forward and reach his hand under his pants or jacket, said the witness, who requested to remain anonymous.
The witness’ video, obtained exclusively by NBC 4, shows officers continuing to shoot even after the suspect fell.
Paramedics pronounced a handcuffed Martinez dead at the scene, but police had to wait for the coroner to search his pockets and clothes, Fierro said.
Martinez’s body remained on the roof for nearly 12 hours before it was removed.
The investigation is on-going, and the officers involved have not been reprimanded in light of the new information.