Photo Courtesy: KTLA
Los Angeles police fired a rifle from a helicopter during a shootout with a man killed in Sunland earlier this week, marking the first time that specially trained SWAT officers have opened fire from a helicopter hovering over a scene, the LAPD said Tuesday.
The decision to bring in officers trained to fire from a helicopter was not taken lightly, Beck said. It requires approval from a high-level officer — in this case, an assistant chief who also discussed it with Beck beforehand.
The events leading to the shooting began earlier that day, Beck said, when a woman woke up and saw an intruder in her home. The woman escaped through a bedroom window and called police, the chief said.
When officers arrived, Beck said, they peered through a window of the home and saw that the man had armed himself with a gun belonging to one of the residence’s occupants. The officers then backed off and called for a SWAT team, Beck said, launching a standoff that lasted five hours.
As officers surrounded the house, police used a bullhorn to try to persuade the man to surrender, department officials said.
The house was at the top of a hill, surrounded by brush and debris, which created what the chief described as a “very difficult location” for SWAT officers, contributing to the decision to bring in the officers trained to fire from a helicopter.
The suspect was shot when he emerged and opened fire at police.
After the man was shot, his body rolled down a ravine, where he was pronounced dead.
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